My Girl The River still performing live despite lockdown and loss

Kris Wilkinson Hughes, husband Joe and daughter Ruby are My Girl the River

If you’re craving watching live music during lockdown then Bedford band, My Girl the River, are streaming two performances this week, featuring well-known tracks and tunes from their new album.

The Oakley-based family band features American songwriter and vocalist Kris Wilkinson Hughes, along with bassist husband Joe Hughes and daughter Ruby.

Living together has its advantages, as the band have been able to continue to rehearse and released their second album, Cardinal in the Snow on 1 May.

The album has received glowing reviews from blogs, websites and DJs and CD orders have come from as far afield as Japan and Australia.

Said Kris, “It’s been a welcome diversion during a very difficult time. Not only have I been out of work due to Covid-19 but I also lost my mom at the end of February, just before the pandemic exploded.

“She was my biggest cheerleader. Thank goodness she heard the album before she passed away. I’m so sad she’s not here to read the reviews and watch the shows on the computer. She would have loved it.”

My Girl The River have been described as ‘perfect lockdown therapy’ and their album has been described as ‘splendid’ and received 8/10 from AmericanaUK calling it ‘Nashville meets southern gothic with fine vocals’.

My Girl the River
Their new album was released on 1 May

Produced by Nashville-based award winner Neilson Hubbard, it was recorded last May.

“It was a dream come true,” said Kris about the recording process.

“An incredible week of recording and seeing family and friends. I’m just relieved we didn’t put it off until this year. It wouldn’t exist. And it was the last time we all saw my mom and she was so excited. .’

Many of the songs are personal and explore human emotion and experience from hope to death and love and loss.

Kris said, “It’s strange how they have taken on new meaning now that she isn’t with us anymore.”

This week there are two chances to hear My Girl the River’s family harmony blend of roots, Americana.

Today (Tuesday), they are performing as part of Acoustic Sanctuary with headliner Matt Owens from Noah and the Whale and opener Fox Palmer from 8pm.

On Thursday 2 July, My Girl the River are joining Chris Hepworth at The Place Theatre’s ‘New Scene Live’ music series filmed live at The Place at 8pm.

Both gigs are ‘pay what you can’ with some proceeds going to charity.

“We have done quite a lot of free streaming during lockdown, so this is a chance for us to make a little bit of money after months of not working,” said Kris.

“And it’s an excuse to play music for folks. Sure we miss the crowd but we know folks are out there watching. We just want to put on the best show we can for them whether it’s from our living room or on stage somewhere.

“And don’t forget we sing about Nashville ‘Hot Chicken’ in a great New Orleans style. The best lockdown therapy is to dance to this song and shout out ‘Hot Chicken’. You’ve got to find your fun moments during such a difficult time.”

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