When Rivers Meet Win Four Awards At the 2021 UK Blues Awards




British Blues Rock husband and wife duo, Aaron and Grace Bond of When Rivers Meet, are the first British Blues band to win four awards in the same year at the UK Blues Awards in London last night.

Hosted by the legendary Blues musician Paul Jones, the band won “Best Blues Album Of The Year”“Blues Band Of The Year”“Emerging Blues Artist Of The Year”, and “Most Inspirational Online Performance Of The Year”.

When Rivers Meet first caught the public eye when they released their debut album, We Fly Free in November 2020.  Since then, their weekly Saturday night Livestream concerts, rave reviews in the music press, and radio airplay on Planet Rock, BBC Radio 2, Radio Caroline, plus many more radio stations and shows, have seen them develop into one of the most sought-after Blues rock bands in the past 12 months. 

They recently invited to perform a live stream performance of their single Did I Break The Law on Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping the Blues Alive Stream-A-Thon which where proceeds were raised to aid blues musicians affected by the pandemic.  

Last month they were confirmed as special guests on King King’s February 2021 UK tour. The band are also in the process of organising their first headline tour of the UK in 2022.

“We’re totally blown away to have won these awards,” says WRM’s lead singer, mandolin and fiddle player, Grace Bond. “We started playing music together over ten years ago, and when we started out, we didn’t really know what direction we were going in until two years ago when we realised that Blues Rock was not only the music we listen to the most, but it’s also the music we love the most.”

Continues Grace “Aaron’s very first album was John Lee Hooker. He was hooked on the Blues from an early age. It was inevitable that we would want to play the blues. I just can’t believe it took us as long as it did, but so glad we did and to receive such a prestigious award as the “Emerging Blues Artist of the Year” is just amazing. We’re pleased that people like our sound and what we are doing.” 

“When lockdown started, we didn’t know what we were going to do,” reflects Aaron. “Like everyone else our live shows were cancelled, and we were unsure when music would start up again. We noticed other people jumping online so we thought, let’s give it a go. We started doing live stream performances through our iPhone, but looking back, we can honestly say it was the best thing we could have done.”

“Not only have we reached a bigger audience all over the world, but it also gave us something to strive for. Playing a gig every Saturday night to an amazing audience of people who have been so supportive over this last year, we just can’t even put it into words. To win the “Most Inspirational Online Performance Of The Year” award is a thank you to all the people who have supported us every single week. They not only got us through a hard year, but it also showed us that during the hardest times, people can come together and even just for an hour a week can enjoy themselves. We feel eternally grateful for the love and support that we have been shown on so many levels.” 

“When we started recording our new sound that we had discovered a couple of years ago we were so excited for people to hear it,” says Grace. “We had discovered our amazing producer Adam Bowers at Boat House Studios, Suffolk. We took our songs to him and he was so open to our ideas that it just felt like a perfect fit for us. We recorded two EPs with him and when it came to recording our debut album, we knew he was the only person we wanted to work with. At the end of recording, we were nervous because it was going to be the first time that we were going to release an album.

To receive the “Blues Album Of The Year” award is incredible. We have been blown away by all the support not only in the industry by all the Radio DJ’s who have played our music and the magazines who have published reviews and written about us throughout the year, but also family and friends and all the fans who have given us such massive support.  A huge shout out goes out to our awesome fans, The Rapids, for their belief and support. 

“To receive the “Blues Band Of The Year” award is really heart-warming. We can’t thank people enough for their continued support of not only our music but of us. We love music, and we love the music we create and for other people to love our music and want to see hear and us play live is just awesome. We want to thank our families and friends for their continued support through the years and all our fans who are now known as the Rapids. Without them we wouldn’t have anybody to play to, so again this award is very much for all our Rapids.”

When Rives Meet are currently recording their sophomore album that will be released in November 2022.

Get your free download of Blues Rock Review’s Album Sampler Volume 12 featuring When River’s latest single Walking On The Wire HERE.  

Visit WRM’s official website www.whenriversmeet.co.uk for all the latest news and music.

The winners of the 2021 UKBlues Awards were announced last night at a ceremony on Sunday 9th May: an event that, though virtual in form, proved as prestigious, star-studded and rich in talent as ever. The
awarding body, the UKBlues Federation, streamed the event via their Facebook page and YouTube channel. Despite the event being held virtually, the awards were announced live. If you missed the show, you can catch it at your leisure on the UKBlues Federation YouTube channel.

The evening was compèred by blues legend and broadcaster Paul Jones. Paul also presented the International Artist Award and also presented a special feature in remembrance of the late Chris Barber, in which
Paul reminisced with Andy Fairweather Low about the remarkable and seminal man whom many credit with introducing the blues to the UK.

The evening culminated with a showstopping jam version of a song that seems well-suited to the moment — ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ — featuring many of the winners and finalists from the 2021 UK Blues Awards.

The award categories were presented by star presenters, as follows,
and the winners are:

Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year, presented by Bob Harris: Dom Martin

UK Blues Artist of the Year, presented by Cerys Matthews: Elles Bailey

Blues Band of the Year, presented by Jon Cleary: When Rivers Meet

Blues Instrumentalist of the Year, presented by Joe Bonnamassa: Matt

Jules Fothergill Young Blues Artist of the Year, presented by Lorna
Fothergill: Connor Selby

Emerging Blues Artist of the Year, presented by Erja Lyytinen: When
Rivers Meet

International Blues Artist of the Year, presented by Paul Jones:
Shemekia Copeland

Dave Raven UK Blues-based Broadcaster of the Year, presented by
Suellen Raven: Paul Long

Blues Album of the Year, presented by Mike Vernon: When Rivers Meet,
We Fly Free

Blues-based Festival or Event of the Year: Great British Rock & Blues
Festival, Skegness

Most Innovative Use of Virtual Media of the Year: Tuesday Night Music

Most Inspirational Online Performance of the Year: When Rivers Meet,
for Rock the Lockdown

Unsung Blues Hero 2021, presented by Kaz Hawkins: Mark Horsley

Unsung Blues Hero 2021, presented by Ashwyn Smyth: Nick Westgarth

“Our congratulations go to all the winners,” _says Ashwyn Smyth (Founder & Chair of the UKBlues Federation),

but also we want to take this opportunity to recognise and pay tribute — not just to the winners and the finalists in each category — but also to everybody involved in and with the blues in the UK, who have done what they can to keep music alive throughout this ongoing pandemic. Huge thanks go to Paul Long, who laboured long and hard putting the event together and producing it, as well as creating the final jam. Thanks too to Kev Hickman for his work creating the video. Also, thank-you to all the musicians who joined in and took part in the final jam, which you can also watch on our YouTube channel. And thank- you to the Board of the UKBlues Federation for all that they do every day to ensure that events like this can, and do, happen and are successful._

“The UKBlues Awards would not, however, happen without the very generous support of those firms, organisations and individuals who agreed to provide sponsorship both for the event and for the Awards themselves so, once again, we send them our thanks.”

About Alex English

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