Rivers Johansson - Devil's Backbone

Since 2014, Rivers Johansson has been creating, producing, and performing his distinct kind of blues. Johansson hails from the East Yorkshire village of Beverley. At his core, he is a one-man blues band, combining a gritty, hard-hitting slide blues sound with his kick drum to produce a gnarly, raw blues-rock sound. He chose a full band sound for "Devils Backbone" and his future album, recording drums, bass, keys, saxophone, and vocal harmonies to give his song a deeper texture.

The artist wrote about his new single: “‘Devil’s Backbone’ came to fruition at a low point in life, pre-pandemic when I struggled to find my place in this world. I was in a full-tilt existential crisis and creating this collection of songs was the only passage out of chaos and into the light”. Rivers continues with the statement; “Art saves lives, it connects you to something higher than yourself and certainly saved me from a bizarre corrosive self-inflicted nihilism.” 

What I like about ‘Devil’s Backbone’ is the overall sound - it was mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Gary Clark Jr) - the southern rock/blues atmosphere and the super catchy vocals during the chorus, which will probably get stuck in your head for a bit. The instrumental performance is also spot on, with very inspired guitars (check out the solo!) and a solid rhythm section. 

Give it a go by clicking on the Spotify player below and don't forget to follow Rivers Johansson on social media as well.


Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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