rainbow girls and the riverside

There are those out there who’d just as soon pass through life as live it. They are the takers, the schemers, the swindlers, the movers and shakers who brandish a new face for each day of the week and attempt to dominate all they regard. There are also, however, those who see magic and beauty at every turn, who recognize all that’s come before them and the chance they have to add their brush stroke to the collective canvas. To improve, to enhance, to inspire. They are the ones who catch your eye and touch your heart and widen your jaw as they whisper yes, this is what life can be…this is what life should be. The Rainbow Girls and The Riverside take not a moment for granted, and as they jump and jive and jitterbug through each overlooked burrow and forgotten alleyway, they are waving their arms and showing the way so that together we all might chance upon such majesty.

Imagine a groundskeeper who mows the lawn with scissors in one hand, soil in the other, knees digging into the dirt in order to snip individual blades of grass to the precise height at the appropriate angle. Such is the way the Rainbow Girls craft a song. And like the lawn, their music is forever growing, changing, rearranging, requiring of constant attention to realize its expanding potential. The art grows, as do the artists, and those who open their ears to the fruits of the labor get to share in the celebration that embodies each performance. The band is fun, and funny, and forever infectious. They speak with their ears and listen with their hearts, all the while adding to their surroundings with a mere dip of the wand. They are a smile for a long lost friend as well as for the days to come. They are the sun and the moon and the stars all sharing the same sky. They’re what the world can be.

When The Riverside reaches into the audience, their refined offering betrays years of care and consideration all focused on blossoming in that very moment. They create each song as a sentient entity. No part is extraneous, no harmony unexamined, and each player contributes to the whole with imagination and emotion as they raise their music, a light in a darkened forest. All those in the vicinity flock to it, crowd around it, stretch out their fingers to feel its glow. Their magic is such that no single member knows the spell, and yet moving together they quiet the world around them. Their performances build a house and fling the doors wide open, compelling each passerby to come inside and cozy up to their creation. Their work is fresh and draws from deep roots, simultaneously innovative and traditional, and each step forward adds to the tale of those who came before it.

Mister Rodgers said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Once you start looking, it’s quite difficult to stop, and the worse the news, the more people who rise up to lend a hand, a hug, a smooch, a song. The Rainbow Girls and The Riverside have sculpted their lives around approaching strangers and helping them feel, hear, see, and move better. They are the people you always hope you’ll meet, and once you do, the ones you long to see again. On August 24th, on a brimming sturgeon moon, we get to open our arms and return the favor. We get to give. We get to look for them, and find them, and hopefully, as they continue to meander down their long open road, they’ll be looking for us too.