Raising River Band to play Deptford

Raising River Band mixes old instruments with new music

The Raising River Band will bring its talents to the Deptford Library on Saturday, June 15. Pictured from left are members of the band: Steve Burr, Sharis Swartley, Dave Cram, Eugene Fury, Kevin McAndrews, Brian Rauch, Steve Fury and Heidi Winzinger. (Special to The Sun)

Deptford will be infused with the sound of original bluegrass music and more when the Raising River Band makes its way to the Deptford Library for a special performance.

The band will be in town for the library’s Book Worm Show on Saturday, June 15.

The Raising River Band consists of eight members who all have a passion for music: Steve “O” Burr, Dave Cram, Eugene Fury, Steve Fury, Kevin McAndrews, Brian Rauch, Sharis Swartley, the co-founder, and Heidi Winzinger.

Burr, as one could say, is the architect of the band and assembled it about three years ago.

“I’ve been playing music pretty much my whole life. I’ve played in rock bands and blues bands, country bands and folk bands,” said Burr. “I met some folks through the years that play different instruments, like the old-timey instruments, like banjo and the fiddle. I thought it would be a pretty cool project to put together with these older instruments and kind of playing newer music with them and originals.”

An eight-person band was not originally designed, but over the years the band has grown to its current state. This current iteration of the band has been together for approximately 18 months.

The band primarily plays shows in Central and South Jersey. When it comes to playing in front of a crowd, Burr likes to keep it small because it gives the audience a better chance to appreciate the type of music that is being played.

“The way I look at the shows that are the smaller venues, like the Deptford Library, is that it gives us an opportunity to play together, number one, because we have a limited practice schedule and time,” Burr said. “Number two, it allows us to play for a different type of crowd that we normally wouldn’t see at a festival.”

The band kicked off its season in April and is gearing up for shows this spring and summer.

Swartley is very excited to get started on this upcoming show schedule and playing their unique music. Swartley is a vocalist, guitarist and the sole music teacher at the Princeton Junior School. She considers music her passion like her fellow bandmates and musicians.

“We do a lot of original material that’s diverse,” Swartley said. “We have some country songs, we have some rock songs, and some folk songs, they’re all different. That way we appeal to all different sorts of crowds, and we like to play what we would enjoy hearing.”

The band likes to play bluegrass, Americana and folk rock music.

Another band member who likes to rock it out is Winzinger, vocalist, guitarist and farmland preserver.

Winzinger was asked to join the group last fall and has had a blast since.

“It’s a ton of fun, that’s what it’s got to be because it’s a lot of work to go and play shows,” Winzinger said. “Our big vision is that we would love to do festivals and things of that nature.”

Although the band members are young at heart and show it through their music, they are not spring chickens.

The age range of each member of the group is from their 40s to 50s, with the exception of one member being in the 60s.

“We have a following that enjoys being able to go out in the afternoon or early evening. None of us desire to be out at 2 o’clock in the morning,” said Winzinger.

You can catch the band playing their next show on Saturday, May 18 at the second annual Whitesbog BioBlitz in Browns Mills. The band will be playing from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For more information on the band, visit http://www.raisingriverband.com.