When Rivers Meet: We Fly Free Review
We Fly Free is the exciting debut album by When Rivers Meet, the British husband and wife blues rock duo comprised of Aaron and Grace Bond. They are backed by a multi-talented rhythm section comprised of Adam Bowers on bass, drums, organ, and piano along with Robin G. Breeze also on bass, organ, and piano. Aaron Bond sings lead on some songs along with harmony and lead guitar. Grace Bond sings lead on most songs as well as harmony along with electric mandolin and violin. Chris Kimsey, the Rolling Stones record producer praised the album saying that “The performances are exemplary, the sound is magnificent, the songs are gorgeous. I love the drama. I love everything.”
“Did I Break The Law” opens We Fly Free with a throbbing beat emanating from Aaron Bond’s guitar and Grace’s slide mandolin. Grace’s multi-ranged voice begins with explosive energy that grabs the listener from the onset and takes them for a thundering thrill ride Bonnie and Clyde style. “Bound For Nowhere” opens with an ominous sounding guitar as Grace repeatedly sings the refrain “I’m Bound For Nowhere” with an ethereal tone in her voice. Underlying everything is the pulsating rhythm of drums and bass played by Engineer/Producer Adam Bowers and Assistant Engineer Robin G. Breeze. “Walking On The Wire” is a completely rocking out gem that has the duo singing in harmony while Aaron wails on his guitar and Grace matches him on her electric mandolin.
“I’d Have Fallen” takes a down tempo detour as it embraces a melancholy tone with a guitar intro riff reminiscent of Trent Reznor’s “Hurt” as performed by Johnny Cash on his American IV album. Grace’s hauntingly beautiful voice repeatedly sings “I’d Have Fallen over a lilting background harmony.” On October 9, “Battleground” the first single from We Fly Free was released and opens with Grace rocking “the heavens with authority” as she sings “Oooo yeah, yeah…as a driving guitar beat sets a rhythmic pace accompanied by a driving heart pounding ground shaking rhythm section. “Kissing The Sky” gives Grace an opportunity to demonstrate her skill on electric slide mandolin demonstrating a raw amped up prowess that sounds more like Jimi Hendrix than Bill Monroe. The song may reflect a Hendrix title but it’s entirely original with a 1960’s classic rock vibe.
“Breaker of Chains” is When Rivers Meet’s personal version of “Crossroads” with a heavy blues sound as both Aaron’s guitar and Grace’s mandolin interplay with a deep resonating sound. Aaron sings lead and Grace provides harmony. “I Will Fight” is a tribute to all “our forefathers who fought in the great wars.” It was the first song that they wrote for the album and said that it was something that they had been thinking about for a long time before they completed it. It’s piano-driven but also has a great guitar solo in the middle with soaring vocal harmonies. “Bury My Body” begins like the intro to a Western movie film with whistling and becomes an acoustic melancholy melody with more beautiful singing in harmony to a funeral cadence.
“Take Me To The River” jumps back into the fire with Grace going berserk on slide mandolin. It’s a balls to the wall “hard-hitting slide-driven Rock song from the get go.” “Friend Of Mine” is a haunting ethereal sounding song with Grace’s ominous voice soaring to the throbbing drone of Aaron’s guitar. The song reminded me of the darker sounds of the early 1960s when Johnny Cash and Duane Eddy ruled. “We Fly Free”, the albums title song made me think of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” in concept only. The song begins with an explosion of thunderous drums followed by a repeated guitar riff that Grace’s voice repeats, as she sings “we fly free” over and over. The song winds up and down the rock highway and closes the album with a “head-banger.”
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Did I Break The Law
– Walking On The Wire
– Take Me To The River
– We Fly Free
The Big Hit
– We Fly Free