1998

I discovered the existence of the Reivers in 1991. They were what I’d been looking for for years. The poetry and beautifully simple guitars strands left hanging in the air made me feel I’d found something that everyone would one day love, and I was the first lover. By the tiem I found any more albums they had disbanded. 3 fourths of my band worship the Reivers. If we were good enough, we’d be the world’s only Reiver cover band. It would feel like sacrilige.

I am currently reading High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. In it he and his freinds list things: Top five break-ups; Top five rainy, muddy, Monday songs; top five conversations with Laura; etc. For the record, these are my top five, desert island, Reivers songs.
1. Your Legendary Man
2. Things Don’t Change
3. You keep Me Guessing
4. Dragonflies
5. Cowboys
Bless you. Thank you. Thank you for recognizing this, my favorite, and highly underacknowledged band.
-Joe Linville (Nov. 18,1998)

I discovered translate slowly in 1991 sitting in a used CD bin. I thought the cover was cool and read some of the lyrics (which were incredible) I had the guy at the store play a little of the CD for me and I thought it sounded really cool. I bought it and oddly enough it sat on my shelf for about a year (don’t ask me why). Then the next November (1992) I put it in and listened to it non-stop for about a week. I then declared it the greatest album ever made. I have a 5-disc changer and it has never left my CD player since. I then went on a mad hunt for all the other albums, which at the time were still in print (except for Saturday). I got End of the Day and Pop Beloved that same year but got Saturday just within the past year. Although the songwriting and vocals were still fantastic on Saturday, End of the Day and Pop Beloved, I really missed the “crack” of the snare drum that was so prevelent on Translate Slowly. Saturday’s drums, I felt, were over produced and I swear on End of the Day they used a drum machine. I wish I could have seen them live though and I really hope they get back together. Hey, Guadalcanal Diary did!
-Noah Butler (Nov. 18, 1998)

It always seems I discover a band after they depart from the scene, never to be seen live, impossible to find information and difficult to find recordings. I found Pop Beloved in a delete bin and picked it up because of the cover of the Katie by the Vulgar Boatmen ( a band I would add to your recomendations ), I was blown away. The well written crafted songs, the way Croslin and Longacre trade of vocals is wonderfull, very natural and complimentry. A fine band.
-Howard Quinn (Nov. 18, 1998) (Who’s also the lucky owner of a copy of End of the Day, signed “Dude, that’s my fridge- Kim Longacre”)

I first heard of them in high school when they were zeitgeist.I only got to see them live one time in 1991 in Baton Rouge when I was in grad school. I was so happy though because I love live music and really had it as a life goal to see them. You know, everyone who I play them for ends up loving them. I think the interplay between the male and female voices, the timing of the vocals and the way they are woven into the music is phenomenal.
-Charles Handler (Nov. 11, 1998)

I first heard of the Reivers in 1987 when I happened across a short article on them in an entertainment weekly. They were doing a show at a newly re-opened club called the Broadway in downtown Denver. The Los Angeles band, X, played the grand re-opening gig a few weeks before the Reivers scheduled date, and I wanted very badly to go. The only trouble was, I was under 21 (by a week or two) and couldn’t manage to get in the door. I found the article intriguing enough, and decided to give the Reivers a listen (I had never heard them before), mainly, I suppose, because I had just turned 21 and wanted to see a club gig.

I tried to round up a friend or two to go to the show with, but couldn’t find anyone who wanted to see a little-known band that they had never heard of, so I went alone. There was a small crowd of one hundred or so on hand, and I stood close to the stage. This kind of intimate setting was new to me because at that time I had only seen a few arena shows and a theater show or two. When the band started playing I was almost immediately drawn in by the music, completely intoxicated by the play of John Croslin’s and Kim Longacre’s vocals – Croslin’s seemed rooted, and Longacre’s soared. I remember standing next to a white-haired man, who must have been in his fifties, and he was dancing (without the slightest bit of self-consciousness!) – swirling in circles, his hands raised, and it se emed perfect for the music.

As the Reivers worked through their set (consisting of material from their newly released album “Saturday” as well as stuff from “Translate Slowly”), I just became more and more absorbed by it all. The music that was being made and the power of it is something that is often overlooked in reviews and other such critical discussion of music – the Reivers seemingly “simple” and obscure pop songs, for a few moments of my life, cut straight to the core of my soul on that night. Towards the end of the show, they huddled in the corner of the stage for a minute, and then returned for a few encore songs, and then packed-up their own equipment, carried it through the crowd (occasionally stopping to visit with a fan for awhile) and went on to the next gig. Something special happened that night – I’ve been to hundreds of shows since, and this is the one I measure all of them against, and the one that very few have, in my mind, come close to moving me like I was moved that night.

I didn’t see them live again until their “Pop Beloved” (and final) tour in 1991 – once in Kansas City and once in Boulder, Colorado (both excellent shows as well, but for me, didn’t surpass the Broadway show). (Actually, the night they played in Boulder, Croslin mentioned the 1987 Broadway show – which lends me to think that it was apparently a meaningful performan ce for the band as well.) I love each of their records, but the Reivers were best live. They had a good chemistry, and played together so well. I miss their music quite a bit – I pick up an occasional John Croslin produced record, and like them (Spoon is a great band) – but have always wished they would do more musically – if not as a band, on their own. Croslin is a damn good songwriter, I think – his songs have layers of meaning.

Just a few months ago, a Reivers song that I had listened to many times revealed a new meaning for me. And Longacre, what a divine vocalist! It seems strange to me that a band who seemed to be so passionate and so involved with their work, could just shut it all off and call it quits. (Maybe they do still write songs and play – but I’m not aware that they do, in publ ic anyway.) Their crowds were usually small, and I imagine they didn’t sell many records – so maybe they just couldn’t make a go of it. Funny how the music we listen to can become an important part of our days. The Reivers are important to me in that way, their songs work as in the same manner that significant memories do sometimes. Anyway, thanks for the great web site – it’s good to see the Reivers still recognized – at whatever capacity.
-Isaac Dust (Oct. 17, 1998)

Thanks for starting the Reivers page. I too have been extremely frustrated by lack of Reiver information on the web. It sadly seems that to most they are long since forgotten. Its nice to know that there are still of us out there carrying the torch. I catch myself checking into the Austin Chronicle website for any random info on John Croslin and hoping that even seven years later they would reassemble for just one more show.

I bought my first Reiver album (Saturday) just from word of mouth, and after I saw them live for the first time, I was hooked. I just couldn’t get enough. I probably saw them at least a dozen times between 87 and 91 and they never disappointed. My last near Reiver experience was at SxSW 3 years ago. Kim was playing with Violet Crown and I guess I was hoping she may sneak in a Reivers tune. As I got a beer I was stunned to see the bartender had on the same Reivers teeshirt as me. As I complimented him on his choice of gear He told me he was married to Kim. Unfortunately I heard no Reivers covers.

Speaking of covers. The Reivers cover of Katie by the Vulgar Boatmen was amazing, and made me seek out the Boatmen, who are an interesting story themselves. They have been around since the 80’s and were actually started by Walter Salas Hummara of Silos fame. Walter left for NY but he produced their Ist album You And Your Sister which in my opinion is one of the greatest albums of all time. Their version of Katie is a little more acoustic but is stunning nonetheless. The band is based out of both Florida and Indiana. One of the principal writers is Robert Ray, a Professor at University of Florida at Gainesville. The other principal songwriter is Dale Lawrence. He is based in Indiana, and leads a version of the band that plays the midwest and tours. They write songs by mail and fax. They have only had three albums in the last nine years (two released in the states, one in Europe) , but they are amazing , especially live. If you liked the Reivers I think you will like the Vulgar Boatmen. Sorry for rambling, I get a little carried away when I get going on this stuff.
-Dave Hanley (Oct. 12, 1998)

I got into the Reivers during their last days with Capitol, sometime in ’89. I was at Fitzgerald’s in Houston (a *great* club for live music back then) at a Hoodoo Gurus show. Between sets, I was hanging out with some friends while the PA was blasting this *amazing* music, something melodic, edgy and altogether haunting. After two or three songs, we realized that conversation had completely stopped as we were all lost in the music. The sound guy filled us in: the band was the Reivers and the album – the End of the Day. I have seen the band three times between ’89 and ’91, including one of the most grueling (but wonderful) shows I have *ever* seen: the Reivers and 10,000 Maniacs at the Liberty Lunch in Austin on a blazing summer night. The temperature and humidity were both in the high 90’s, which is bad enough. But, inside the barn that is the Liberty Lunch, it was worse … MUCH worse. People were passing out left and right. Leaving the barn was such a relief – how often does 90 degrees feel like a refrigerator ??!!

I always associate the band’s breakup with my departure from Texas. They remain one of the best memories from that period of my life. As an epilogue, my friend Jim Eno plays drums for the great Austin band Spoon, a band for whom John Croslin has produced a couple of albums. Actually, John briefly played bass for them as well, but that’s another story.
– Roey B. (Aug. 10, 1998)

I have one for you, my husband lived next door to John Croslin in Dearborn, Michigan, on Snow Street. John is from Michigan. My husband was a guitarist in the 1970’s with a band called “Bree” and John, who was not even a teenager yet, used to sit on the floor of my husband’s basement and listen to them play songs by Mott the Hoople. My husband was so peeved when John, who adored my husband’s band as a youngster, got a record deal (but was happy for him). I do hope John reads the internet and I’m sure he’d remember the bandmates: Victor, Dave, Dennis and Mark.
—L. Cyers (Aug. 7, 1998)

Nice job on the Reivers page. I, too, was/am a big fan of them. I was in a band in Maryland in 1986, and we spent a summer living together at the beach, mostly just drinking beer and delivering pizzas. That’s where I heard TRANSLATE SLOWLY first, and the sound of that record really inspired us (we were a lot more of a punk band up until then). We wrote and recorded a 5-song ep that summer, and while no one ever heard it, I like to think it was pretty good. A few years later, in June of 1989, I had a job interview with Capitol Records, up in New York. I was hoping to get hired as an A&R man, but it was painfully obvious that my tastes weren’t in synch with theirs…particularly when I told them “one of my favorite bands is on Capitol – the Reivers!” They looked at me like some kind of potentially dangerous idiot…

Anyway, I lost all my record albums in a flood last year (true story!) and I only have the last album on CD. Fortunately, I made cassette copies of the other ones for the car. I really still love those records, and it saddens me to know they aren’t making music together anymore. I actually saw them live at the old 9:30 Club in Washington, DC sometime in the late 80’s. They were great, and it was wonderful to hear how much they sounded like the records…particularly the guitars.
—Tim Armstrong (Aug 1, 1998)

A friend and fellow fan directed me to your website, which I like very much. I saw the Reivers five times in concert between 1986 and 1991 in three different states (NC, NJ, CO). My best personal reminiscences are the following:
1) At a show in 1986, a male friend of mine kept screaming out in his high, barely post-pubescent voice a request for his favorite song, “Things Don’t Change.” Croslin finally leaned forward between songs and intoned into the microphone, “Voices do change.”
2) The band was giving out free promotional posters at a show in December of 1987 and Kim Longacre autographed one for me, signing it “I saw you wiggling, you cannot deny it.” I would scan the poster and send it to you but I think it is simply a copy of the cover picture from the “Saturday” album.
—David Mills (June 18, 1998)

I just wanted to drop a line and say thank you for your reiver’s site. i lived in austin and was doing sound around town during the late 80’s, early 90’s, and was a huge reiver’s fan. many shows and beers drunk with the band.(we had mutual friends). i had to miss their last show due to a show i was doing down the block. needless to say, i was and still am sick about it. a quick question; i lost my copys of saturday and end of the day, and can’t seem to find them anywhere. i know they are out of print, but i gotta have em back. they’re my two favorites. a funny story… a few years ago i moved to seattle, and started jamming with some people i worked with. one afternoon i went to my friend’s house and he walks over to the stereo and says, “you’re from austin, check this out.” out of the stereo pops, “Katie”. i was floored. i had never met anyone out of texas that even knew who they were, and this guy was from santa barbara! through him, i’ve met two other people that are into them. bizarre world. thanks again.
—Dave Morales (June 7, 1998)

What a wonderful site you’ve created! I’ve been a Reivers fan since the ’80s, and I’ve only known of one other fan (to whom I introduced their albums). I’m from the SF east bay area, so there isn’t a whole lot of Austin rock to be heard. By reading the rock magazines and already liking R.E.M., I was always on the lookout for other bands (Smithereens, Replacements, Guadalcanal Diary, etc.) when I gave End of the Day and the Reivers a try. I liked the music, and in particular Kim Longacre’s voice. I then proceeded to buy everything that was Reivers that I could. I’d say that Saturday is my favorite album, although I have my favorite songs on the other albums.
—Arthur Chan (April 22, 1998)

Join Mailing List

Site Updates

For a record of the latest site updates and changes, please click here.