RioMacRae are Fred and Denise Smithers.
We hail from Wiltshire, lived most of our lives in Scotland but now spend our winters in the deserts and mountains of Southern Spain. In 2014 we started writing, singing and playing our own music.
In this area of Spain it’s hard not to be impressed by the landscape and history which includes many years of filming Westerns and Cowboys.
This has influenced our music which can probably be called Americana, although we like to call it Mountain music.
We started playing in a five piece band doing obscure covers and from there we started the band Hey Gringo playing our own music with another songwriter.
We have been encouraged by local musicians at open mics and gigs, and in the last few years, we have performed in bars, venues and at several festivals both in Spain, the U.K. And USA.
In July 2018 we released our first album of 12 songs recorded in Scotland. This coincided with two performances at the Upton Blues Festival – our biggest gig to date. We were also invited to play live on the Upton Blues Radio hosted by Longside Radio. Watch video for ‘Sweetwater’ live from the festival.
Music has always been a big part of our lives. Fred always had a guitar around, even if we had to pawn it one time. And the real reason we went to Scotland was because we were following the Incredible String Band. We often had different music playing in every room of the house as our four children made their own choices.
In 2015 we started Club Desierto, a local enterprise to encourage other songwriters in the area to use it as a platform. We have run several of these over 3 winters and have not run out of contributors yet. There’s a lot of talent in these mountains.
We are also regular contributors to the local Travelling Acoustic folk club.
In 2016 we visited L.A. for the first time. We played at several folk clubs and also at the L.A. Arts Co-operative which was completely serendipitous and very exciting.
Recently we were interviewed for ‘Life Stories’, the online Talk Radio Europe version of Desert Island Discs which was good fun.
Please have a look around our pages on the website to listen to our music and catch our latest updates.