Some of Mindy Murray’s earliest memories are of being crammed in the back of a Corvair with three brothers all singing Woody Guthrie songs driving back from family camping trips. At home, her Mom played an old spinet piano in the living room, and her Dad built dulcimers in the basement of their Bucks County home.
After teaching herself some chords on a Silvertone she picked up at a flea market, Mindy started playing solo in high school–original songs and standard folk covers. College found her in a band called Heartwood playing all the 70s folk scene venues–coffee houses, bars, college radio stations.
Two bluegrass-playing doctors interviewed Mindy for medical school in West Virginia, where she spent the next four years cocooned in Appalachia in a blur of music and medicine. Next came three babies to raise and a practice to run, but the music was always playing in the background.
For their 25th anniversary, her husband gave her a Martin and some recording software. Daughter Meg and Mindy started playing music together somewhere along the way forming the band Port Murray. Not long after, Mindy and Meagan hooked up with Kevin McCloskey, a classmate of Meagan’s and Marian Moran, Mindy’s old college roommate. The four became River Drivers – a high-energy rootsy Celtic Americana band.
Mindy draws from her life experiences and oral histories to create her edgy rootsy songs — born out of a desire to have her music mean something while telling the stories of hard working women and men. One of her many labor movement songs “Blair Mountain” was recognized by the United Mine Workers Union and placed in their 2016 Annual Report and her “Did Ya Vote” was awarded Honorable Mention by the International Women’s Freedom Song organization in 2020.
You can catch Mindy playing solo or along with her band at festivals and concert halls throughout the US and abroad.
“…incredibly reminiscent of The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl on ‘Fairytale of New York’… the brute male-female tandem of voices with such vivacious melody is addictive. You can’t just let that go… River Drivers certainly have an earworm on their hands here” – The Spill Magazine
“Literate and melodic, these songs are worth a listen for those who appreciate a healthy dose of substance, but also want a mix of traditional roots and an invigorating style….Their repertoire strikes a fine balance of original songs and more obscure folk songs, resurrected from deep folk vaults.” – The Big Takeover
“As someone whose formative musical years were filled with the music of The Levellers, The Men They Couldn’t Hang and The Pogues, and from there a further wealth of fire-brand troubadours from Billy Bragg back to Ewan MacColl, my first reaction upon hearing River Drivers is …’why have I not heard this band before?’” – Dancing About Architecture
“…times may change, but we remain inherently, irrevocably human. And this is human music. So it is important that some artists work to keep traditional music alive and sing the very human songs which mark our history. One such band…the River Drivers, has recently released its debut, self-titled full-length album, and it is certainly one deserving mention.” –No Depression
“…raw, organic and expressive elements of traditional music… artistic quality and powerful conveyances… a traditional Celtic and folk quartet the River Drivers has recently released its debut, employing acoustic instrumentation and rousing vocals…” –Examiner
“…meaty chorus singing… Dubliners territory… these are hearty items… from a band who obviously have a passion for their repertoire.” – fRoots (May 2015, No. 383)
“….a rousing mix of rebel inspired folk music reminiscent of The Wolfe Tones at their best…. They deliver their material with a raw and honest intensity…. This is a late night, raise the roof type outing, delivered with an energy fitting to such occasions.” –TradConnect
“…an energy source of Celtic and Americana soaked sound… These diverse songs are sung with a raw conviction and intensity that tell the truth of the passion felt from within the band, revel in the powerful messages that are driving factors behind the lyrical origin of the songs themselves. If you want to rouse yourselves out of the slumber of apathy and get lyrically motivated in united, invasive, proletariat passion then take a listen to this.” – Irish Music Magazine
- September 10, 2019 – “A Torresdale farm that was auctioned off for back taxes inspired a song by this Celtic folk-rock quartet,” Philadelphia Inquirer
- August 10, 2019 – Exclusive Premiere, The Spill Music
- August 21, 2019 – Review, Dancing About Architecture
- July 2019 – Review, The Big Takeover
- August 5, 2019 – Review, El Santo del Rock
- October 3, 2019 – Review, RingMaster Review
- August 22, 2019 – “River Drivers deliver rabble rousing roots for the modern age,” The Swindonian
- July 24, 2019 – Review, Musiczine
- September 3, 2019 – Review, Noise Journal
- Track of the Day, Stereo Embers
- November 2015 – Review, FolkWorld: Home of European Music
- July 2015 – “Social Justice Runs Through It,” Irish Music Magazine
- May 27, 2015 – ” A Bristol-based Irish folk group gains international exposure” Bucks County Courier Times
- June 2015 – Review, Irish Music Magazine
- May 6, 2015 – “On the Radar” The Alternate Root
- May 1, 2015 – River Drivers in Donegal North West Culture
- May 2015 – Review, fRoots (subscription only)
- March 27, 2015 – “An interview with the River Drivers” No Depression
- March 26, 2015 – “An interview with the River Drivers” Examiner
- March 10, 2015 – “US Band the River Drivers to launce new album on 4th April” TradConnect
- February 27, 2015 – “…Alumna takes inspiration from the Mountain State” Mountain Messenger
- January 22, 2015 – “River Drivers announce new album” Midweek Wire
- July 9, 2014 – “Brogues by way of Bristol” Midweek Wire
- May 14, 2014 – Bucks County Courier-Times