- High Desert
- Doner 4
Initially formed from the group “Deep Water Horizon,” composed of musical colleagues Austin Smith, Brooks Coleman, and Alex Leonard, and Smith’s close friend/writer Sam Towery of Bakersfield, CA. In early 2010, Deep Water Horizon began taking up shows local to the CSU Pomona campus, which a majority of the members attended. It was at this stage where the group brewed up its first set of professional recordings: “Baby Steps Baby,” “Doner 4,” and “Bitch in Heat.”
In Late 2011 alterations to the group began to develop as a result of the university workload and Towery’s move to Los Angeles. Brandon White was introduced to the band by mutual friend Brooks Coleman who soon broke off from the group to focus on his career in the marketing industry. In mid-2011 Smith and White became neighbors, and as a result, White would regularly jam with the band. It was at this time White constructed personal relationships with both Smith and Towery, which heavily influenced his decision to continue to work with the group. During this period, guitarist Alex Leonard became increasingly unable to continue to contribute, due to collegiate and personal constraints. Coleman was succeeded by percussionist Adrian Park in late 2011, while White began to take on a more creative role.
In early 2011, with the aid of Park and White, Deep Water Horizon performed for the first time in the Los Angeles club scene at the famed Molly Malone’s. After the showcase, White and Park officially joined the group, and the band made the decision to change their name to “Rivermaker” as to avoid altercations with similar named groups. During this era, Rivermaker developed interest from music venues along LA’s Sunset Strip, performing new and old material to audiences at the Hard Rock Café, Viper Room, and House of Blues. It was the Smith, White, Park, and Towery lineup that wrote and recorded the Rivermaker tunes “Sanctuary,” “Gentile,” and “Gipsci Jazz.”
The most drastic changes came to group in the years to follow. In late 2012 drummer Adrian Park moved to San Jose to follow his career in computer engineering; being only able to fly down on occasion for shows. The sudden and tragic death of singer, songwriter, and inspiration Sam Towery in the early months of 2013, left Smith and White in an emotionally chaotic state and brought the music to a halt. After a period of mourning and an upheaval of support from family and friends to continue the work of Rivermaker, Smith and White rejoined with drummer Brooks Coleman for a short stint of performances. Along this time, Smith and White found sanctity in the creative elements that they shared with Towery, which served as inspiration for their future work.
Outside a Uniform Standard concert, Smith and White met drummer Mike Gatshall, who fit the sound of the new Rivermaker; he would join the group as the official drummer in January of 2014. Also, Rivermaker reconvened with former guitarist Leonard, who contributed to the “High Desert” and ”Standard” recordings at Grandma’s House of Babes. Rivermaker has continued as a three piece performance group, with Smith, White, and Gatshall as its active members. Currently, Rivermaker is polishing new material for their highly anticipated full length EP, to be released in late fall 2014. Rivermaker can be seen performing at dozens of venues, including but not limited to: the HOB Hollywood, Five Star Bar, the Down and Out, Raffa’s Lounge in Echo Park, Good Hurt, Cinema Bar, Senior Fish, Paladino’s, and so on.
Thank you for taking time to read Rivermaker’s journey.