Keith A. Getchell “Send Your River” (SINGLE)

Oregon-based songwriter Keith A. Getchell’s “Send Your River” has a decidedly human message. It doesn’t have any political axe to grind. It doesn’t have a social cause de jour to champion. Instead, it flies the flag for individual sanctity. Life calls upon us to follow our heart, and Getchell’s “Send Your River” urges listeners to do so, whatever repercussions result, and to trust in and celebrate who we are.


It is the only song that Getchell has written. Perhaps there won’t be, but I suspect there will be more. It doesn’t matter. Getchell’s “Send Your River” is a memorable contribution to our modern musical conversation. Bob Dylan reputedly once described his famed “Tangled Up in Blue” as a song that “…took him ten years to live and a year to write”. I suspect Getchell would sympathize.

Post-production effects envelop the song’s instrumentation with a judicious amount of atmospherics. There’s an aquatic theme emerging from the track’s aural identity; guitar and woodwind sound slightly submerged. The arrangement hinges around a beguiling circular melody. However, it isn’t content following a single trajectory. It continues to evolve as the song progresses while retaining the composition’s initial spirit.

Getchell labored long over this track. The result never sounds overcooked. “Send Your River”, in its final form, comes across as effortless as breathing. “Send Your River” benefits from its long creative gestation in other ways. It doesn’t drone on for a second too long. Getchell shows excellent instincts for editing himself, and the lack of any audible bloat intensifies the listening experience.

Five-star vocals are another key to the song’s success. Getchell’s female guest vocalist enlivens “Send Your River” with a significant degree of soul. Her performance is never overwrought. She approaches the performance as if she wrote the song and inhabits the lyrics with equal parts passion and skill. Getchell has chosen the song’s vocalist well, and she delivers with every line.

His writing style is straightforward and conversational. There’s a confessional quality, highly personal, to Getchell’s lyrics recalling members of the singer/songwriter school. I expect he will continue working in this vein if more songs are forthcoming from his pen. It’s a natural fit for Getchell’s sensibilities. He hits upon several first-class rhymes during the track, and the lack of predictability in such moments is a further boon for the song’s fortunes.

Keith A. Getchell fulfills his avowed goals for this song. He’s crafted a first-class piece of musical art that should provide comfort and companionship to those still groping to express personal truths. It has a calm and reassuring demeanor without ever adopting a Pollyanna attitude about the world and its vagaries. Let’s hope there’s more to come. However, if there isn’t, this Oregon-based songwriter has created a work of art that he can be proud of for the remainder of his days.

It is a nifty legacy and a great thing to be able to say. “Send Your River” is far from cookie-cutter pop music. It resonates with emotion and meaning.

Mark Druery