The Riders have been playing their own brand of acoustic feel-good blues in pubs, wineries, beer gardens, festivals and private shows around the south-west of WA for 22 years. From their home in the Blackwood Valley they have clocked up thousands of miles on the odometer of, initially, their trusty Subaru and now their zippy fuel-efficient Hyundai.
Over the years The Riders’ sound, song-writing and stage presence has matured and evolved. From humble beginnings playing a mix of originals and 60’s pop with just one guitar and two vocals, The Riders now boast a full repertoire of original tunes, and use National Resophonic guitars, 12 string and 6 string guitars, stomp box, drums and washboard to create and rich and complex soundscape, underscored with toe-tapping rhythms.
The duo’s musical influences are many and varied. Vocalist/songwriter Deborah Birch cites her inspirations as coming from “just about everything I’ve ever heard or sung along to!” In her songs there are hints of Blues, Jazz, Pop, Folk and even Broadway. Guitarist and song-writing partner Martin Lee Cropper has studied the Country Blues (also known as Folk Blues or Rural Blues) of the 1920’s and 30’s era and uses traditional styles and guitar techniques to complement Deborah’s catchy melodies. The result is a body of work which ranges from steamy blues to hill-billy foot-stompers. Their style is not easily definable – they just don’t fit into any of the standard “boxes”. And they like it like that!
The Riders have recorded three CDs in the studio of their beautiful hand-made home perched high on a hill overlooking Bridgetown and the meandering Blackwood River. The song-writing continues unabated and the pair will be recording again in 2019.
The Riders are passionate about their music and it shows – this is authentic home-grown music; made with love, played with joy and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Bridgetown – Western Australia, Australia
Deborah Birch – vocals, drums, washboard
Martin Cropper – vocals, guitars, stomp-box