Author: Douglas Cowie
Editor: Lon Koontz
Artist: Benjamin Mills
In Away, You Rolling River, Brian continues his personal journey begun on the streets of Manhattan in Tin Pan Alley. Following the trail of a postcard sent to him by his long-missing friend, Owen Noone, Brian sets out for Lake Itasca, Minnesota. However, Brian soon finds that Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi River, is only the beginning of his expedition. He must travel downriver by car, foot, and water: following clues and rumors of Owen from Minnesota, through Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and into the waters of the South. And as he goes, the search for his friend becomes a discovery of himself. As Brian encounters a variety of musicians and their music, he begins to use these experiences as a means of shaping his own relationship to the country he’s living in and traveling through.
“Each of us carries a song inside and Sing for Life: Away, You Rolling River shows us the lengths we’ll go to hear it. As New York City and Tin Pan Alley fade in the rear-view mirror, Brian heads for the Mississippi River, guitarless yet optimistic. A postcard, sent to him by a mysterious friend and former bandmate, starts Brian on a quest that leads him off the beaten path into a quirky and uniquely American landscape filled with music and other, fellow travelers. At every turn, Brian’s quest is challenged by forces internal and external. Will he find what and who he’s looking for before he makes it to the end of the Mississippi? In the end, it may not matter. There are songs to be sung and Away, You Rolling River reminds us that, along the Mississippi, America is filled with them.”
–Lon Koontz, Editor