Brightlingsea-based husband and wife duo When Rivers Meet (WRM) have been voted Blues Band of the Year and became the first British blues artistes to win four categories in the UK Blues Awards, held in London on Sunday night (May 9).
Aaron and Grace Bond walked away with the Best Blues Album Of The Year, Blues Band Of The Year, Emerging Blues Artist Of The Year, and Most Inspirational Online Performance Of The Year awards at the event, hosted by legendary blues musician Paul Jones.
"We’re totally blown away to have won these awards,” said Grace, the lead singer, mandolin and fiddle player. “We started playing music together over ten years ago, and when we started out, we didn’t really know what direction we were going in until two years ago when we realised that blues rock was not only the music we listen to the most, but it’s also the music we love the most."
Though lockdown has prevented the band performing live, they've built up a strong following with performances streamed live on the internet. Said Aaron: "When lockdown started, we didn’t know what we were going to do. Our live shows were cancelled, and we were unsure when music would start up again. We noticed other people jumping online so we thought, let’s give it a go. We started doing live stream performances through our iPhone, but looking back, we can honestly say it was the best thing we could have done."
"Not only have we reached a bigger audience all over the world, but it also gave us something to strive for. Playing a gig every Saturday night to an amazing audience of people who have been so supportive over this last year, we just can’t even put it into words. To win the “Most Inspirational Online Performance Of The Year” award is a thank you to all the people who have supported us every single week. They not only got us through a hard year, but it also showed us that during the hardest times, people can come together and even just for an hour a week can enjoy themselves. We feel eternally grateful for the love and support that we have been shown on so many levels."
WRM first caught the public’s eye when they released their debut album, We Fly Free in November 2020. Since then, their weekly Saturday night livestream concerts, rave reviews in the music press, and radio airplay on Planet Rock, BBC Radio 2, Radio Caroline, plus many more radio stations and shows, have seen them develop into one of the most sought-after blues rock bands in the past 12 months. Last month they were confirmed as special guests on King King’s February 2021 UK tour and they are also in the process of organising their first headline tour of the UK in 2022.
"We love music, and we love the music we create and for other people to love our music and want to see hear and us play live is just awesome," added Aaron. "We want to thank our families and friends for their continued support through the years and all our fans who are now known as the River Rapids. Without them we wouldn’t have anybody to play to, so again this award is very much for all our Rapids.”
You can hear WRM's latest single, Walking on the Wire on Blues Rock Review’s Album Sampler Volume 12 - click here for a free download. You can also see them performing it - and some familiar Brightlingsea locations – on YouTube. Visit WRM’s official website www.whenriversmeet.co.uk for all their latest news and music.