Riverbend signs with EMG, releases first single

Engelhardt Music Group in Nashville has announced the signing of Riverbend, a traditional bluegrass band from St Louis who hew to the high lonesome sound that gave the music its early definition.

The quintet has been playing together this past six years, consisting of Aaron Muskopf on guitar, Andy Novara on mandolin, Blake Korte on reso-guitar, Kris Shewmake on banjo, and Will Miskall on bass. All five participate in the group vocals, and all agree that maintaining the bluegrass traditions are ever bit as important as putting new music forward within the style.

Adam Engelhardt says that they are delighted to bring these guys on to the label.

“EMG is proud to add RiverBend to our roster. Working with talented professionals is always our goal and the RiverBend guys are all that and more. We’re excited for this single and the upcoming album. Their sound is unique and fresh, and still represents classic bluegrass music. The future looks bright for these guys.”

For their first single with EMG, the band has chosen their version of You’d Better Get Right, a Bill Monroe number first recorded by The Stanley Brothers in 1959. You can hear a taste of both Big Mon and the Stanleys in this cut, which they take notably faster than Carter and Ralph. 

Muskopf says that this one perfectly fits their mission of carrying the early bluegrass sound into the future.

“I first fell in love with You’d Better Get Right when I heard the single version that the Stanley Brothers released. The way their two voices came together on the harmonies really stuck with me, and I knew it would be a great song for us to do. While we have our own sound we try to honor the tradition of the masters, and with it being a Bill Monroe song we wanted to record if for a new audience to hear.”

Have a listen in this graphic video, and catch how well Andy emulates Monroe in his mandolin solo.

You’d Better Get Right from Riverbend is available now from popular download and streaming sites. Radio programmers will find the track at AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.