Glago, Thompson form band, find passion for songwriting

%28From+left+to+right%29+HHS+alum+Alex+Osinkosky%2C+sophomore+Dylan+Thompson%2C+Spotswood+senior+Colin+Gregory%2C+sophomore+Keenan+Glago%2C+and+Spotswood+senior+Reece+Wayland+all+stand+together+following+their+second+show.+The+band+played+at+Restless+Moons+brewery+in+June%2C+2019.+

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Edwards

(From left to right) HHS alum Alex Osinkosky, sophomore Dylan Thompson, Spotswood senior Colin Gregory, sophomore Keenan Glago, and Spotswood senior Reece Wayland all stand together following their second show. The band played at Restless Moons brewery in June, 2019.

When most teenagers talk about starting a band, it is nothing more than simply an idea to fantasize over; however, for sophomores Keenan Glago and Dylan Thompson, this dream became a reality. 

Glago’s father, Mickey Glago, teaches private music lessons. One of his students is Spotswood High School senior Reece Wayland, who showed interest in starting a band. Recognizing this interest, Mickey Glago connected his son, Wayland and Thompson for practice during Wayland’s usual lesson time. 

“My dad told Reece that I play keys and that he had another student, [sophomore] Dylan Thompson,  who plays bass,” Glago said. “He suggested that I go to a practice with them. Since we didn’t have a drummer at first… my dad would drum for us.” 

When the band formed in February of 2019, they were a six member group by the name of “Rooted in Blues.” Over time, the group has evolved into the four person band called the Riversyders. Glago, Thompson, Wayland and HHS alum Alex Osinkosky currently make up the group. Since their first show at Court Square Theater, the Riversyders have expanded their show venues and, with that, their following.

“Our first show was at Court Square Theater for a mini-festival. We have played shows at Restless Moons brewery, Three Notch’d brewery, Cave Hill brewery and then most recently we played at the Friendly Fermenter,” Glago said. “ [We’ve also played] some private events.”

Due to having shows that are spread out, the Riversyders do not have a set practice schedule.  

“Practice depends on the time, after a show we don’t practice for a while but before a show we will practice a couple times that week. We usually try and play three times every week,” Thompson said. 

While practices prior to shows are strictly business, a majority of their practices are informal and simply a group of friends getting together to play music. 

“We practice a lot, but not all practices are formal practices. We have our really serious practices leading up to shows, but we practice two or three times a week for fun. Reece and I meet up a lot just to write songs, but that’s kind of our own thing,” Glago said. “Practices are just less formal at this point and more about hanging out. That is when we play our best, when we are just chilling and hanging out with each other.”

Although the members of the group have evolved over the past year, the group dynamic has been consistent throughout the adversities faced. 

“We all are really cool with each other, we don’t like to get mad at each other or anything. We usually solve all of our problems pretty quickly by talking it out,” Thompson said. 

Not only does the group perform covers of popular bands such as The Grateful Dead and Phish, but the Riversyders also write and perform their own music. 

“Writing is a big part of our musical presence. We don’t just want to be like every other cover band. Reece and I do all the writing. A lot of it we just work on together. I’ll come to him with a lyric or something and we just feed off of each other really well… it doesn’t take us that long to just put everything together,” Glago said. “Once one of us has an idea, we meet up and we are able to make a song and just make magic happen. We have a lot of originals, we have 10 to 12 total. Each show we mix some of our songs in with covers just to keep the attention of our viewers.”

While performing their music in front of large crowds, the experience is not at all easy for the band, and can be extremely stressful at times. 

“The show experience is pretty stressful for me because you have a bunch of people watching you, and you’re playing music, and you’re trying to do a bunch of different things while playing. You’re trying to remember how to play one song while thinking about the next song as well,” Thompson said. 

Similar to Thompson, Glago also experiences many of the same on-stage feelings during performances. 

“It is a lot of fun [to perform]; it is also pretty nerve-wracking. I am still trying to figure out how to have a stage presence. A lot of the time, I am really thinking about what we are playing and I forget that we are also performers. We are trying to figure out how to look appealing to watch while playing music because it is hard to think about two things especially when playing complex stuff. It is definitely a lot of fun, I love being up there and for people to enjoy our music,” Glago said. 

Despite everything else that comes with being in a local band, Glago and his fellow musicians are simply doing it to pursue what they love to do: play music. 

“I love making music. I have kind of gotten to a point where I enjoy writing music more than I enjoy listening to it. It is just so much fun to express yourself and to hear a product come out of an idea. A lot of times when you are writing music it is hard to be alone because you don’t really know where to go with the song,” Glago said. “Being in a band and having three talented musicians around you and feeding off of their ideas to formulate a complete song is probably my favorite part of being in the band. I have [also] grown closer to Dylan and Alex…. Reece I just met last year and now we are inseparable.”

Moving forward, the Riversyders plan to focus on expanding their music on various platforms and spreading the word about their group to gain more recognition in the area. 

“We have gotten to a point right now where we have played together for so long and we have built up our sound. We are confident in the way we play and we have really focused on the musical aspect of it. Now we have to think about the business side… getting to know people so we can get better shows. We are going to try to record some of our songs to get Spotify recognition, it isn’t my favorite part, but it is what you need to do. It is probably the hardest part of music, getting past the being good part. You can’t just be good and get recognized, you have to work at it and make it a business,” Glago said. 

 

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