Deep in the heart of Chatham, Ontario, a musical phenomenon known as Black River Remedy emerged from the crossroads of southern rock, old school country, and the undeniable allure of rock 'n' roll. Formed in 2017, the band's journey is a tale of soulful melodies, electrifying performances, and an unbreakable bond that transcends music to become a way of life.
At the heart of Black River Remedy stands Howie JD Howard, affectionately known as HH. With a voice that carries the weight of experience and a guitar that weaves intricate tales, HH's presence is magnetic. His vocals are a testament to life's highs and lows, and his guitar work combines the ruggedness of southern rock with the poignant storytelling of classic country. Complementing HH's prowess is Gibson Smith-Howard (GSH), the lead guitarist and HH's son. GSH's fingers dance across the strings, conjuring both blistering solos and delicate harmonies that punctuate the band's sonic tapestry.
The rhythm section, an inseparable foundation, consists of Jim Walsh on bass guitar and Chuck Dierickse on drums. Jim's basslines pulse with a heartbeat that resonates within every listener, while Chuck's dynamic drumming propels the music forward with a rhythmic finesse that can't be ignored. Together, the quartet forms an unbreakable musical connection, seamlessly blending their individual talents into a symphony of sound that is unmistakably Black River Remedy.
Black River Remedy's music is an alchemical blend of southern rock and old school country, a union that evokes nostalgia while igniting a spirit of rebellion. Their songs tell stories of life's trials and triumphs, delivered with a raw, unfiltered honesty that captures the essence of human experience. But there's more to their sound than meets the ear. A touch of "snake oil," that elusive and enigmatic quality, infuses their music with a hint of mystery, beckoning listeners to immerse themselves fully in the experience. Their 2020 release, "A Stone's Throw In the Murky Water," stands as a testament to the band's musical evolution. The album is a journey through heartache, resilience, and the redemptive power of music. Tracks like "Mama's Pride" and "Standing On My Own" capture the essence of Black River Remedy's ethos – songs that embrace life's moments with unapologetic fervor, inviting listeners to find solace and celebration in the same breath.
Singles like "Long Haired Country Boy," a nod to the Charlie Daniels Band classic, and "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way," a reimagining of Waylon Jennings' iconic tune, pay homage to the legends that paved the way. These covers, approached with reverence and innovation, showcase the band's ability to breathe new life into familiar melodies while staying true to their distinctive style.
A Black River Remedy performance is a sensory journey that transcends mere entertainment. It's an invitation to experience life in its full spectrum – the highs and lows, the camaraderie and isolation – all channeled through the conduit of their music. The stage becomes a back porch party, where the audience is invited to join the band in raising their glasses, stomping their feet, and letting loose to the rhythm of their souls.
The sun dipping low and casting long shadows signals the arrival of the perfect moment for Black River Remedy's sonic remedy. Their music encapsulates the magic of twilight, where the day's burdens are shed, and the promise of the night is embraced. The songs become anthems, capturing the spirit of the moment while creating memories that linger long after the final chord fades.
Black River Remedy is more than a band; it's a collective heartbeat, a testament to the enduring power of music to heal, uplift, and unite. Their journey began in Chatham, Ontario, but their music has a universal resonance, touching hearts and souls across borders and boundaries. Their mission is clear – to cure the lonesome blues, put the spring back in your step, and remind us all that there's a remedy for what ails us, and it's found in the music that binds us all.
So, whether you're a fervent fan or a first-time listener, prepare to immerse yourself in a musical experience that defies categorization, transcends time, and brings people together. With Black River Remedy, the journey is as unforgettable as the destination, and the remedy is always within reach – a foot-stompin', beer-drinkin', whiskey-shootin' good time that leaves an indelible mark on the heart and soul.