The Rivermen are:
Peter Assirati: vocals, guitars, piano, harmonica.
Nick Assirati: vocals, bass, piano.
Ideas for the next album went through several incarnations, one of which was for a triple-album of love songs, biographical (story) songs and cover versions. However, as the set of songs gradually crystallised it became apparent that the album was going to have a more simple, folk feel. ‘Early Morning, 5 o’clock’ was recorded in 2014 with Thad Kelly at his home ‘Hoglet Studio’. Thad quickly became fully involved in the project, co-producing and playing on several tracks. Heather McFarlane graciously helped out, playing violin with accomplished spontaneity. The album cover is a homage to Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Bookends’ with a similar track construction. The influences of Paul Simon, Tom Waits, John Martyn and Nick Drake can be detected in the arrangement of the songs, from the richly layered ‘Let go of what it’s not’, the beautifully fragile ‘Sleeping on the floor’ to the emphatic folk/punk of ‘Half-broken Things’. The overall narrative of the album is about loss, life, death, God and finding a way to carry on living and loving and ends with ‘Our Father’, a lament for the late, great Danny Assirati.
Thad Kelly; upright bass, keyboards, accordion
Heather McFarlane; violin
Tony Cosaitis: piano, keyboards.
Dave Woodhead: trumpet.
Barny Rowe: Drums
The Rivermen were formed in late 2004. Peter Assirati had recorded 10 songs earlier that year and given a copy to his brother, Nick. The songs were recorded very simply on acoustic guitar and vocals in one late-night sitting. Nick felt the songs should be re-recorded with other instruments and introduced Peter to his friends and worked on the songs. As the band's sound and style began to take shape, new songs were written. Nick's love of English folk music and punk rock, and Peter's obsession with all things Americana and beat poetry blended well. A CD of completely new material titled "Loved" was recorded and released in 2005.
‘My Best Mistakes’ was the second Rivermen album, released in 2008. The intention to change direction is evident from the outset with Barny Rowe on percussion counting the band in on ‘Higher Ground’. The album twists and turns as it unfolds including a full-on version of ‘I don’t wanna go round again’ which has remained a favourite in the live set ever since. My Best Mistakes’ is lyrically diverse with feelgood love songs (“All the things that I say and the things that I do, everything’s changed since I tumbled into you…”) sitting alongside expressions of remorse, longing and mental illness (“I’m losing my mind and I don’t care who knows..”). The album is presented in a vinyl format, dividing the collection into sides one and two (on two CDs).
By 2010, songs for the ‘difficult’ third album, initially titled ‘The Long Road Back’ had been mostly been written, but these took a while to record as the band had to organise a convergence in the capital at Fortress Studios. Collaborators of yore were shipped in for the project, including the smooth ivory-tinkling Tony Cosaitis and comrade Dave Woodhead (who can also be heard fingering his funky fugel on a couple of Billy Bragg’s albums). The collection was eventually released under the name ‘Broken Compass’ which turned out to be a ‘Strawberry Fields’ type affair with more than one reference to the Assirati childhood and adolescence in and around St. John’s church in Walworth, South London, and ending with ‘Are you gonna miss me?” - a track affectionately labelled by Tony “...the shocker from the rocker”.