That band called ‘River’ rocks Lake Arthur

By MIKE RIZZUTO

Sun Times Editor

Under cool, dry skies of a perfect March evening, that band named “River” rocked the socks off the many who attended their annual concert held in the Lake City this past Saturday, March 21, 2009 on Arthur Street in Lake Arthur.

“River” is a band of brothers who get together and go to NASCAR events, biker events, community festivals and other family-oriented gatherings. But make no mistake about it. These “brothers” can really get down and play some good, old-fashioned, funky rock-n-roll music!

The Lake Arthur River Concert is the first played by River each year, which kicks off their annual tour across these United States. The band is unabashed in its praise of the little Town, saying that “there’s no other place like it on God’s Green Earth, especially the friendly people, the culture, and the great Cajun food served.”

The whole festive affair started early in the afternoon, as a wide variety of people numbering in the thousands from all over the United States gathered in the Lake Arthur Town Park, Arthur Avenue, and parts surrounding to partake in good food, fun, and camaraderie.

The action started to take off early, as the band “Louisiana Fiya” took to the large stage set up on Arthur Avenue to get the River followers primed for the big event.

Street dancing was the order of the day, as many adults and children “passed a good time” by doing their favorite dances to a wide variety of music.

The crowd really started to get thick around sunset, as River fans filled the streets, avenues, and sidewalks of the Lake City.

Louisiana Fiya gave way to the main event at about 7:45 p.m., and the toe-tapping soon gave way to swaying, gyrating, and rockin’ movements of all kinds as River began their riveting performance.

The band started with a couple of time-tested, popular warm-up tunes, most notably from the famous Southern Band of 1970s fame, Lynyrd Skynyrd, including “Sweet Home, Alabama”, and then “Free Bird”.

The selections then ran the gamut from a variety of popular artists, including Joe Walsh’s (now with the Eagles) “Rocky Mountain Way”, Bob Seger’s (The Silver Bullet Band) “I Like That Old-fashioned Rock and Roll”, and the late Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee”.

Later, River continued to perform their own versions of Grand Funk’s “Closer to Home”, more Bob Seger hits, and music from Molly Hatchet.

Introductions of the band members followed, as well as a salute to America and its veterans who, in River’s words, “have earned the right to be called true heroes for their actions to protect these United States throughout history against tyranny, dictators and terrorists.”

Members of Lake Arthur’s Boy Scout Troop then presented the colors of the American Flag, joining the band on stage with a plethora of stunning red, white, and blue flags.

To honor the American veterans, River played “The National Anthem”, as well as Lee Greenwood’s classic crossover country-rock song, “I’m Proud to be an American.”

The many River fans in attendance were visibly moved by those patriotic covers, and many openly wept for those American veterans who paid the ultimate price for these United States of America, losing their lives on foreign soil.

Veterans were presented American flags by the Scouts and other youngsters, who all helped River sing those patriotic songs.

Music and dancing continued until the wee morning hours, as River once again continued its mutual love affair with both the people and Town of Lake Arthur, Louisiana.

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