Soft spoken by nature, South Florida-bred Roosevelt Collier does his hollering on the pedal steel guitar. Brought up in the “sacred steel” tradition of the House of God Church, Roosevelt built his reputation alongside his uncles and cousins in The Lee Boys, known for their spirited, soul-shaking live performances.Seated front and center, “The Dr.” leaves an indelible mark on listeners, flooring audiences with his lightning-fast slide work on the pedal steel.
At festivals, he is a regular “Artist at Large,” performing alongside many of music’s most prestigious acts, from the Allman Brothers, Tedeschi-Trucks, Los Lobos , the Del McCoury Band and countless others. In 2017, Roosevelt debuted his new project Bokanté – a “World Music All-Star Band” created by Snarky Puppy founder Michael League and featuring the vocals of Malika Tirolien.
As a bandleader, Roosevelt leads his world famous “get-downs” featuring a mixture of “superstars and church folk”, his own “Jimi Hendrix Experiment”-style all-star trio, and in 2018 will release the long-awaited Roosevelt Collier debut record, featuring an incredible mixture of blues, gospel, rock, and funk all rolled up by producer and bandmate Michael League.
Now in its fifth year, River Town brings the music of America’s heartland to the south west in a summer celebration of roots and Americana music. With a vibrant programme of blues, bluegrass, country and gospel, 2019’s series is packed full of performances from global icons and rising stars.
In 2019 the River Town series takes place at venues across Bristol including St George’s
Bristol, The O2 Academy, SWX, The Winston Theatre at Bristol University SU and The Crofters Rights,
and also makes its first foray into Bath with two performances at The Forum. With artists including k.d. lang, Lucinda Williams, The Shires, The Mavericks, Keb’ Mo’ and Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton, it’s the most ambitious programme yet.
River Town began in 2015 under the banner of Bristol Americana Weekend and under a co-producing partnership between Colston Hall and St George’s Bristol presented Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Larkin Poe, Police Dog Hogan, Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham and many more outstanding artists of American roots music.
The festival returned after wide-spread acclaim in 2016 to feature Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Mary Chapin Carpenter and the now internationally famous The White Buffalo.
In 2017 we launched the festival for a third year under the new name of River Town and showcased some of the finest blues, gospel, country and bluegrass, from across the pond and closer to home in Colston Hall, St George’s Bristol and for the first time in O2 Academy. Three UK greats – Paul Carrack, Nick Lowe and Andy Fairweather Low – joined forces in a rare trio performance that celebrated their shared love of American R&B, soul and country. The compelling singer songwriter Martha Wainwright performed along with R&B powerhouse, gospel legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples. Plus performances by duo The Shires with crossover stars Ward Thomas brought country-pop to Bristol.
In 2018 the festival expanded across the city as part of our Colston Hall Presents programme, showcasing events taking place in venues across Bristol during the Hall’s Transformation project. In it’s fourth iteration River Town’s line-up featured music icons Graham Nash and Rosanne Cash alongside The Barr Brothers, Steve Earle & The Dukes, The White Buffalo.