WINCHESTER – The Riverthieves have been together since the turn of the new millennium, writing and performing songs until they finally recorded and released their first album in 2010 – Before the War.
Literally 24 hours after completing their Victoria Day concert, frontman Finley Mullally, and keyboard and bagpiper Devon Matsalla were deployed to Afghanistan and the band wouldn’t reunite for another five years.
Now after years of preparing, writing and practicing with years of source material, the indie-folk band is back to tour Eastern Ontario with the release of their second album, Soldier, stopping at Winchester’s Old Town Hall Fri., May 11.
“We did a lot of writing while deployed, did a lot of my own stuff” Mullally said. “We wrote songs about what it was really like out there and when we got back, we compared ideas and here we are.”
The new album has a lot of emotion behind the music, showcasing love songs, drinking songs and songs about loss.
“It wasn’t anything like Rambo,” Matsalla joked. “Sometimes you’d just sit in an OP for days on end, watching the dust blazing; that’s what our music is about.”
Mullally wrote another song based on watching a hockey game on a projector with his fellow soldiers in the heart of the war while someone else across seas is watching the same game.
“It was a tough job,” Mullally said. “At the end of the day, it’s about comradery.”
The Riverthieves plan on touring all through Eastern Ontario, doing a couple of shows a month for the rest of the year.
“We have a plan to become Eastern Ontario’s quintessential indie-folk band,” Mullally said. “We researched small halls and we plan to stop at every county and we’re making our Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry stop.”
More stops on the band’s tour include Almonte, Perth, Spencerville and Athens.
“This is our first time in Winchester and we’re super happy to be here,” said Mullally.
“After years of writing, we’re finally done and we’re so excited and happy to share with everyone.”