Theater Critic’s Choice: Reivers

By Bill Wyman. Chicago Reader, June 20, 1991.

Pop Beloved is the Reivers’ fourth album and the title is a close approximation of what you might call the, um, zeitgeist (Zeitgeist was their former name) of the band: slightly awkward, but created out of a wistful, human craving for warmth and unity. Songwriter John Croslin digs the rural world in the same way lots of other bands do, but he has the ability to translate it with a grace and subtlety that the John Cougar Mellencamps of the world will never attain. He doesn’t write songs about small towns: he’s more attracted to the sensuous smell of “golden Mustang days” and the sight of dragonflies hanging heavy in the night. The band, which has been steadily focusing its not insignificant talents and recently got dropped from Capitol for their trouble (the new record’s out on their old indie label, DB), is a crew of folk-based rockers from Austin, Texas, who specialize in “feel,” unerringly coursing through the most delicate of Croslin’s creations to extremely forceful rural-rock exposition. Live you get to see Kim Longacre’s angelic voice entwine Croslin’s decidedly more earthy growl, while the rhythm section just kicks ass; the Reivers remain among the proudest of America’s great touring bands. Philadelphia’s Flight of Mavis opens. Tonight and Saturday, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620.