Downriver
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Downriver

Buda, Texas, United States

Buda, Texas, United States
Band Rock Blues

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Downriver

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What was once just the title to a song dealing with a young man of life-sized faith and his eminent toils (love, riches, answers found and lost, and the Kingdom-to-Come), became the definitive name of David Lucas’s ongoing musical project.
Based out of Austin, Texas, Downriver is working hard to get the music out to ears that are willing to hear and capitalizing on any opportunity to perform for the enthusiastic audiences, especially members of the armed forces. With such songs as Livin’ Free/Hero’s Parade and Remember Me, David Lucas hopes to make his statement clear: Wherever the music comes from, let it flow Downriver.
The music is heavily guitar-driven, interlaced with David’s big soulful voice, with heavily layered and hypnotically abundant melodies. The songs take a strong foundation in blues rock into a contemporary context without ever lapsing into clichés. The themes are lyrical and intense, best appreciated at the highest volume the listener can muster from the speakers.
Downriver began as the Damascus trio, assembling in a dank basement located in the small village of Chippewa, Canada, late in the spring of 1998. The band wanted to put together a few songs in order to compete in the annual battle-of-the-bands contest, held at the college of then-bass-player John Hoegg. Winning third place at the band’s first gig, following the performance of Burn Away, Lil’ Devil and a Hendrix cover, invoked the confidence necessary to assure David that an audience would find pleasure in the sounds of his own heart. Adhering to the bluesy, stoner-rock premise that was established, Smokeflower, Down River, Gethsemane, Beggin’ for You, and If I Go, were written and compiled to form the band’s repertoire. Damascus, as it was, would run its course after gigs in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada.
David and John pursued further musical projects. A number of starts and stops would ensue while humoring various inspirations and moods, but the struggles of the soul always led back to the blues. “I wrote this one chorus when my buddy John and I were working on a Blues/Hip-hop thing with a mutual friend, Jeff Miller, from Harrisburg, PA:
‘Can’t nobody ever sing the blues like my Lord can sing the blues, ‘cause ain’t nobody ever had the blues like my Lord had the blues.'
”That’s just so true to my heart, man. He knew what was coming. How much lower can a man feel, you know? Every burden I have, every pain I feel, every battle. . . I know nothing can ever compare to that, but I know that He understands and He has a way to lead me out of it. But, like the old saying ‘Let go and let God,’ that’s the most difficult part for any man.” With growth in life, in matters of the soul and in music, came an identity, which was realized in one of his songs.

In the song Down River, Lucas allegorically wrote about a baptism taking place in a river, whereby, the new man is risen up from the water as the current carries away the old. From that point, the new man has to stand strong against the oncoming current, lest he falls and is swept down to be reunited with his past. “It’s about the struggle for progress, which, realistically, I think all of us endure, regardless of faith. We measure ourselves by how often and how far we back-slide, but then what we use to move forward, again, what we take with us and what we leave behind.”
Untie My hands, let Me hold your heart down low under the water, babe, feel the down river flow.
Often, daily life and all of its predictable, but unwelcome incidents, are allowed to become so disproportionate to their actual triviality, that far too effortlessly blurred is the focus of what should be so uniquely relevant. Like so many of us, David experienced an epiphany following the horrific moments of September 11, 2001. The events which occurred that day, awakened a strong appreciation for what had previously been seldom a second thought.
“9/11 changed my life. It really did, man. It opened my eyes and my heart to something that was just so distant from my conscience. I thought of all the lives that were lost in the efforts to save lives and how, if that were me and someone was trying to put the fire out around me, or digging through rubble, that could come crashing down on them at any second, just to get me out of there, how would I thank them for that? How could I even try? There are people who put their lives on the line for a living, for me! I don’t care what your political persuasion is, but, when you see a soldier, wherever you are, step back into reality and the present time for a few seconds, walk up to him and you shake his hand. Then, you look him straight in the eye and you say ‘Thank you’! It’s because of that brave man or woman that you can even hold up that protest sign. Anyone willing to take a bullet for me deserves at least that much – a simple ‘Thank you’.”