Americana Highways presents this video premiere of Ray Cardwell’s interpretation of Al Green’s “Take Me To The River” from his recent album Just A Little Rain, which was produced by Danny Roberts.
“Take Me To The River” is Ray Cardwell on vocals and bass; Danny Roberts on mandolin; Adam Haynes on fiddle; Tony Wray on banjo and acoustic guitar; and Jaelee Roberts on tenor vocals. The video was produced by Bonfire Music Group. The Talking Heads’ interpretation is completely counterbalanced by the banjo pickin’, creekside groove of Ray Cardwell and company. What Cardwell did with the song is absolutely unique.
We shot the video in Piedmont, South Carolina on the Saluda River on a cold day last November. I had a great group of local pickers – Tony Wray (Guitar), Andrew Crawford (Mandolin), Kristen Miller (Fiddle) and Steve Wilson (Banjo) – on hand for the video. We had so much fun at the shoot we all hung out and picked for a while.
I always like to include a song on a project that has meaning to me personally and in some cases, like this one, was a part of my musical upbringing. I first heard “Take Me to the River” in the early ‘80s when The Talking Heads did a version of it. I sang this song as a closer for many years in several different bands and it was always a crowd pleaser. The mix of soul and gospel has always struck a chord with me, and I continue to be inspired by the voice and writing of Al Green. I also grew up in the Missouri Ozarks and my family did a lot of camping and canoeing, and in the summer when I was a teenager our family bluegrass band played at the Ozark National Scenic Riverway parks on the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers. I live on the banks of the mighty Missouri River now, in central Missouri. — Ray Cardwell