The River Must Flow

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gino vannelli singing in "the river must flow" music video

I remember like it was yesterday: It was a rainy day in LA when I played the River Must Flow for the Brother to Brother band, rehearsing in brother Joe’s garage. The boys picked it up real fast. Mark Craney on drums was thumpin’ away, swinging hard in seconds. Carlos Rios on guitar came up with his riff and choppy ‘Copperesque’ licks in a snap. That rehearsal baked a smile on my face for the whole day. Months later, after we finished the final recording I thought to myself, “I’ll never dream of ever redoing that one.” Never say never.

It was like an unreachable, persistent itch. I kept humming the River Must Flow throughout the day to myself a couple of years ago; couldn’t get it out of my head. There was nothing left to do but to revisit the song I’d written decades ago and see what gives. So I sat myself down at the keys, unsure if I should embark on this journey, coaxed only by the smallest of whims. I tried a few approaches . . . nice, but not worth the drive. Then suddenly, one early morning, as the sun just painted the sky pink, came the new intro riff. It was all I needed–like what a novelist always looks for: the first line of his story. I was now convinced we could make a worthy go of it and give the tune a taste of my present day self. The wind was at my back from that moment on. Brian McKnight helped out with some magnificent background vocals. Brother Ross got his fingers dirty cooking up this video.

Hope you enjoy listening as much as I did the making of,

14 Comments on “The River Must Flow”

  1. Gino,
    This tune is great!

    I have been a fan of yours for as long as I can remember.
    Here are three new albums of original music I have released this year.

    World Music Blues

    Low Keyed

    Original Piano Pieces

    I hope to meet you someday.
    Have a great weekend and a fantastic Easter..
    (260) 715-9002

  2. I can swing between this version and the first, through a fluid pendulum, I can go from the source of the river to the mouth of the sea. Easter time, the song is reborn and resurrected.

  3. A greater performer in the world that yourself Gino, I’m not aware. Thank you sincerely for making life a better place for us all. A more loyal fan you will never have…

  4. Ha Ha Ha Haaa Its Beautiful.
    Different From The Original But Also Beautiful Nevertheless.

  5. Gino, love all you do. Love of my life is my favorite. I have loved it from the first time I heard it. Do over or original. I am sure there will be more that you will be inspired to over( just leave Brother to Brother as is).

  6. Hi Gino,
    Firstly, Happy Mothers Day to your wife tomorrow… I hope that her health and spirit are great!
    Love your redone sound as usual. Any thoughts of returning to Flato Theatre in Markham Ont.??
    I had the pleasure of meeting you in 2018 after a great show. All the best!

  7. Lovvvvve the remake! Never thought there could be one that I would like as much as the original…but, you did it, Gino! Once again! The video is equally as good! You boys always collaborating! There’s a great team! Thank you! Best, Carol Mainelli (Rhode Island)

  8. River Must Flow was my favorite song on the Brother to Brother album. Gave me the same sense of movement or “progress” as Fly into this Night. Love this version; its a wonderful update that really works, similar to you Wild Horses update with your previous band. We were at your show at the Arcadia a couple of weeks ago and my ears are delighted. Please keep making music.

  9. Your music as been a consistent in my life since the 70s and I am amazed that your voice is just as pure and sweet as it was then. I remember listening to Storm at Sunup and Gist of the Gemini late at night in 1976 and contemplating life’s ups and downs (specifically, an on again/off again love affair). This music is timeless and will always be a huge part of my memories from my 20’s through my 60’s.

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