David Isaac Rivers’ “Psalms” can be purchased at the release party at 7 p.m. tonight in Calvary Chapel Sequim, 91 Boyce Road, or at The Good Book in Sequim, Port Book and News in Port Angeles.

David Isaac Rivers’ “Psalms” can be purchased at the release party at 7 p.m. tonight in Calvary Chapel Sequim, 91 Boyce Road, or at The Good Book in Sequim, Port Book and News in Port Angeles.

Former Sequim band leader turns his music page to ‘Psalms’

By Matthew Nash

Olympic Peninsula News Group

SEQUIM — David Isaac Rivers thinks his latest project might be unlike anything you’ve heard before.

The former band leader of Abby Mae &The Homeschool Boys ventures forward with “Psalms,” his new five-track album fusing indie-folk with Irish traditions, drums, guitar, mandolin and powerful vocals.

He and a cadre of friends and family will play the album in its entirety at 7 tonight at Calvary Chapel Sequim where Rivers serves as music director.

A cover charge of $5 includes a copy of the album.

Lyrics will be projected on the wall at the church, 91 Boyce Road.

“It’s a celebration of what our church has gone through musically and what we’ve been singing for the last three years,” Rivers said.

For years, Rivers has led worship music in different churches, and “Psalms” is one example of what he feels his faith walk has led him to do: write songs for a small community of people.

“My real purpose for this is to support the local church,” he said. “The thing is not to elevate myself but the songs.”

Following Abby Mae &The Homeschool Boys’ disbanding in 2012, Rivers said he was in a discovery period and through the band, he rediscovered his love for folk and Irish music, which he decided to bring to church music.

Rivers said he wrote his first worship song, now “None Will Be Denied” on “Psalms,” using an old melody from a bluegrass tune. From there, he used a similar formula for the rest of the album and hybrids of other melodies, he said.

Earlier this year, his band, formerly David and the Psalms, played in Bellevue, where Rivers encountered a man in the music industry who recommended they record.

“I had expressed some hesitation, but he said, ‘The purpose is to preach the gospel. That’s all we’re supposed to do. Whether we make money or not is irrelevant,’ ” Rivers said.

“Once he said that to me, it was kind of one of those moments.”

Rivers recruited several people to play and record with him for “Psalms” including Jeremy Cays for mixing, Kate Powers, Dillan Witherow, Braden Torras, Noelle Johnson, Mike Sill, Lauren Best and Josh Best.

For today’s show, he’ll also be joined by local musicians Curry Winborn; Michael Stephen Rivers, director of the Peninsula Men’s Gospel Choir; and Branden Bettger.

Rivers said he wants to have an open rotating door for his friends to play music with him.

“That’s one of the really cool things about this project is the community and the support we got from each other,” he said.

Witherow, who built a mini-studio in his mom’s attic, worked with Rivers there for much of the recording process.

“[‘Psalms’] is like a musical culmination of his life so far,” Witherow said.

“Also, seeing David evolve from Abby Mae backup vocalist and guitar player to the frontman and full vocal leader of his own band has been so fun to witness. Even though he was the band leader in Abby Mae, this has been a huge step.”

Lauren Best, who sings in the band with her husband, Josh, who plays bass, said it’s been an incredible project to work on.

“The music comes from a desire to serve their church and encourage one another and build our relationships with friends and the Lord,” she said.

Together, they’ve played in a prison, pubs, festivals, churches and clubs.

“I was always shocked that pubs want us to play, but we are true to who we are,” Lauren Best said.

“It’s just good music and a variety of people can appreciate it.”

Best, who said she grew up going to church, said the album is a good combination of feeling authentic and great writing.

Rivers said his goal is to share his music with other churches and have the chords ready by the spring while the band tours.

Looking ahead, he’s considering an EP album centered on Easter.

For more information on Rivers, visit www.david isaacrivers.com.


Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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