It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of our very good friend and long-term bass player Mr Dennis Schiavon, after a valiant fight with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, which slowly and cruelly took away his ability to breathe over the last few months. Dennis always kept a positive attitude and never lost hope of maybe being able to beat this pernicious disease, but sadly it got the better of him on Tuesday 30th Jan 2024. Dennis was a master musician - he toured with The Revillos in the 80s, and The Pork Dukes somewhat later, played in local bands The Men From Uncle and The Big Top before joining Whiskey River as a full time member in the late noughties. Dennis was also very active on the Hereford Music Education front, working tirelessly for The Music Pool in collaboration with the local music service to promote live music of all genres in the county. His influence has been felt in so many different avenues of musical expression in the Hereford area. He will be sadly missed by all who met him... Goodbye, my good friend, sleep well. RIP Dennis
From an acoustic duo to a five piece rocking electric band - a band for every occasion
Whiskey River play Americana - Cajun, Zydeco, Good Country and Low Down Dirty Blues with a dangerous edge. With many years experience of performing, these guys deliver the goods whether in full electric or acoustic mode. Small venues and budgets can be catered for by the two founder members Martin Blake & Aidan Sheehan [click on each of their names for more details] as an acoustic duo "The Whiskey River Boys", whereas larger venues and pockets could go for an acoustic trio/quartet or move into the realms of bass, drums and electric instrumentation with the 5 piece.
The current band was born after founder members Martin and Aidan went to Louisiana in 2003 and visited a fabulous funky dance hall called "Whiskey River Landing", built on the edge of the Atchafalaya swamp, South of Breaux Bridge. They had a fantastic Sunday afternoon there and got to thinking that Whiskey River might be a good name for a band. About a week later, a guy in a bar in Houston Texas heard them talking over a beer at the bar ["Hey, are you guys from New England?" - "Nope, we're from Old England!"] and then gave them a plectrum with "Whiskey River" written on it. This was taken as "a definite sign" and the band they were working with back in the UK was renamed on their return.
"We've had many great evenings at the Redcatch Club, but I felt that The Whiskey River Boys were perhaps the best ever. Superb musicianship and singing, excellent variety, stylistically innovative and not least, great fun. High expectations were met in full" - Trevor Carter, The Redcatch Club, Bristol, October 2021
Whiskey River Perform "Iko Iko" & "Li'l Liza Jane" at "Lundi Gras" Nuits Cajun & Zydeco, Saulieu, Burgundy, France, 2012
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From the album "Hot Sauce", Whiskey River's take on a brace of Leadbelly songs about cotton....
Whiskey River [full 6 piece] perform the classic Leiber & Stoller song "Love Potion Number Nine" from their 2011 album "Hot Sauce"
Check out loads more audio and video on the Sound & Vision page!
The Whiskey River Acoustic Quartet strut their stuff at The Brecon and Mid Wales Blues Club, The Muse, Glamorgan St., Brecon, 15.4.23
The Quartet at the Gower Bluegrass Festival, Sept 2022
Meet the Band!
Personnel: Aidan Sheehan - Vocals, Accordion, Mandolin, Harmonica, Penny Whistle, Percussion, Kitchen Sink; Martin Blake - Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitar & Banjo [see Martin's website]; Dennis Schiavon - Vocals, Electric & Double Bass; Ted Bunting - Saxophones, Flute; Alan Cooper - Fiddle; Pedro Brown - Drums.