Imagine if you will, a group of Bardic Minstrels, traveling through both time and space, with the energy to transend planes and bring the wisdom of the ages to the people through song. If such a group would exist, then The Hills and the Rivers would be such a group of wise old souls.
With music that is built upon a foundation of the historical Appalachian and Folk Music styles, lyrics that foretell of modern issues, thoughts and philosophies, The Hills and the Rivers in their recent album release The Fool & The Magician which is now available on Bandcamp and other Online Streaming services as well as the groups website, is a breath of life into today’s music scene, both mainstream and Independent.
The Fool & The Magician by The Hills and the Rivers is a delightful collection of musical tales and stories, inspired by our present realities and by the mystical Tarot, intertwining the spiritual with the lyrical and bringing a divine sense to the craziness we endure daily.through a common thread of brotherhood and simple living and walking a honorable path, The Hills and the Rivers seek to not only entertain, but to enlighten.
The Hills and the Rivers are a street folk family band from Pittsburgh, PA fronted by the Hill family’s four oldest siblings. The conception of the band happened in 2013, when Isaac and Heidi Hill began recording some of Isaac’s original work.
The Hills come from a multi-generational musical family, raised singing hymns in harmony around the table at family gatherings, with Isaac playing instruments and writing songs since the age of 12. As a poetry major at Pitt, it wasn’t until after graduation that he rediscovered his love for music which grew during his exposure to Pittsburgh’s fringe busking scene at Occupy Pittsburgh in 2011. With a couple of busker recruits on board for their freshman album, they began recording The World at Kasey Fusco’s Etcetera Studios in Ambridge, PA.
The Hills and the Rivers are one of the flag ship bands of Pittsburgh’s 4th River Music Collective, along side their close friends DIY folk/punk band, Cousin Boneless. The 4th River Music Collective has grown into a group of over 20 bandsfrom various genres with their own annual music festival in just a few years.
The Hills and the Rivers’ sophomore album, Apocalyptic Dreams, was released in November of 2016. A meditation on how to find hope in a chaotic and apocalyptic world, it featured core members Isaac Hill on octave mandolin and vocals, Heidi Hill on vocals and tambourine, Ian Hill on mandolin and vocals, James Bristol on upright bass, Chris Fazio on violin, Joey Schuller on banjo and Faith Hersey on djembe as well as various musicians recruited from 4th River Music Collective pool. Their 3rd album, The Fool & The Magician, was released May 18, 2018.
The influences of the band range from figures like Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Shirley Collins, Sweeny’s Men and other folk revival artists, to bands such as Neutral Milk Hotel, Silver Jews, Fleet Foxes, Blackbird Raum, and Rail Yard Ghosts.
The lyrics draw from themes of ecological destruction, political upheaval, the Tarot and other occult systems, and are based on the foundation of personal transformation.
The Hills and the Rivers are:
Isaac Hill – Vocals, Octave Mandolin
Heidi Hill – Vocals, Tambourine
Ian Hill – Vocals, Mandolin
Colin Hill – Vocals, Washboard, Wurlizter on “The Magician”
Faith Hersey – Djembe
James Bristol – Upright Bass
Chris Fazio – Violin, Wurlizter on “The Leap”
Joey Schuller – Banjo
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