Photo By Orlando Welsh

Perform on Friday, August 16 at 7:20pm on the Brewpub Stage at Idyllwild Strong Benefit

By Tracy Dietlin

Lance Riebsomer is one of the most soulful and passionate singer-songwriters in the Coachella Valley. Fronting his band Black Water Gospel, he brings his unique brand of blues, alternative, and at times anthemic rock that has gained him legions of loyal fans. Never one to rest on his laurels, Riebsomer is continually writing and creating. I was fortunate enough to catch up with him about all the exciting new things on his horizon.

The current BWG lineup is: Lance Riebsomer-Vox, rhythm guitar; David Morales-lead guitar; Alex Maestas-drums; Ryan Kerr- Keys and Mario Estrada-Bass (filling in for the time being)

CVW: Are you currently working on new BWG music and or solo music?


Riebsomer: “Myself, and David finished a 3 song EP which we will be releasing completely separate from any BWG stuff by the end of August. We recorded with Will Sturgeon of brightener and CV Music award winner for Best Producer two years in a row. We just finished recording a single named “Lost For The Weekend” up in the high desert with Mikey Reyes of Desert Rhythm project. Gene Evaro Jr. is mixing and mastering and we will be releasing the song with a music video at our single release show at The Hood on September 28th. On a side note we will be filming a music video for it this Friday, August 16th at Idyllwild Strong At 7:20pm at the Brew Pub. We will be recording our follow up EP with Mikey Reyes and Gene Evaro Jr. in September and it will be released winter 2019. So there’s lots of music coming for sure.”

CVW: How is performing solo different for you than with the band?

Riebsomer: “Solo performance for me has always been a more intimate and honest approach, I write constantly and I feel so lucky to have a constant platform to share original music, that being said, it’s also easier because you’re in the zone on a solo level so you can shut everything out and focus on the heart of the song, with BWG we bring rock and roll to whatever song we play. We get loud we have fun, it’s a religious experience, but we have to focus on each other and being in the pocket together, and vibing off of each other.”

CVW: What song are you most proud you wrote?

Riebsomer: “I used to feel the most proud of the song ‘Alone,’ as it spoke to friends, listeners, fellow musicians on a personal level, and emotionally and musically captured the obstacles I was experiencing in my life at the time. These days I’m proud of every song that I’ve written and recorded and have had the ability to help someone understand a situation they related too. I’m more proud of the body of work I’m putting out than one song in particular. They all mean something extraordinary and different to me.”

CVW: How do you feel about your accomplishments over the last 2 years?

Riebsomer: “I’m proud of where I’ve come in a lot of things musically and personally. Two years ago BWG won Best Rock Band, Best Alt Rock Band, and Best Unsigned Record. I was so proud of what we accomplished. This year was a personal growing experience for me and for my band, taking time to focus on solo songwriting, and learning some valuable lessons in trust, and the people you surround yourself with. I came out of last year with a clear and focused vision on what I want for myself and music, and what my band brothers want as well cohesively.”

CVW: What are your goals now?

Riebsomer: “To focus on original music and release new music every 6 months or sooner. Focus on the full band, and put out the best sophomore release possible.”

CVW: You’re performing at both the Idyllwild Strong benefit next weekend and Concert for Autism in October. What do benefit festivals like this mean to you?

Riebsomer: “Having been close friends with Josh Heinz who puts on the Autism benefit and having family with autism, it hits a chord close to my heart to be involved for the 5th year in a row with such an amazing benefit. As far as Idyllwild Strong, us Californians know about the wildfire problems we’ve faced whether personally or our close family and friends, donating our time for a second year is the least we can do.”

CVW: Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Riebsomer: “Paul McCartney most definitely!”

CVW: Who would you most like to open for?

Riebsomer: “Rival Sons!”

CVW: What has been your most shining moment of your career so far?

Riebsomer: “Family, friends, and fellow musicians, appreciating and relating to the music I’ve written with my band Black Water Gospel and my solo endeavors. That’s the biggest trophy to me, moving people with your music.”

CVW: Anything else you want to share?

Riebsomer: “I am so proud of my band mates, who are as close as family to me. I came to the desert 5 years ago with a head full of songs and no band, and now I have an amazing group of fantastic humans and talented musicians who are performing alongside of me with the same fire I had when I wrote these songs. Good things are coming, and we can’t wait to share them with our desert family; as a band, not just me.”