Combining traditional music with unexpected and progressive experimentation, William Crighton is a fiery punk folk balladeer who’s reputation as a “must see” live act is growing quickly throughout the world. He has released two albums since 2016 with his latest album, ‘Empire’ (2018), acclaimed for its visceral mix of evocative lyrics, and rock’n’roll sparks.
His live show has been received to high acclaim across the world from sell out tours and festival appearances in his home land of Australia including Blues Fest, WOMAD, Woodford Folk Festival and Dashville Skyline to appearances at the Cambridge Folk Festival and Boomtown in the UK, Tonder in Denmark and successful tours throughout UK, Sacndinavia and Canada.
Unique and intense, William Crighton grew up in the NSW Riverina, Australia. He mesmerises the audience with documentations of life, nuanced story telling and perceptive philosophy combined with death defying musical accompaniment. He performs as a duo with friend Matt Sherrod (Drums, Modular Synth) and as a trio, adding Julieanne Crighton (vocals, guitars, fx).
Sam Morrow is a North American west coast artist performing a brand of Americana with a strong Texas twang.
In 2014 he released his debut album ‘Ephemeral’ and followed two years later with 2016’s ‘There Is No Map’.
In 2018 he released ‘Concrete and Mud’ with guest vocals with label mate Jamie Wyatt.
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.