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Singing a song of the river

Brief by Central Staff

Arkansas River – April 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

The mess at the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel has inspired a lot of talk, and now there’s a song: “Save the Arkansas,” written and recorded by folksinger Gabrielle Louise. At press time, it could be downloaded in mp3 format from

Appropriately, it has a rather mournful folk song sound; she was backed by Colorado musicians Gene Libbea on bass, Bruce Hayes on guitar, mandolin and harmonies, and Ryan Drickey on fiddle and harmonies.

The song starts with “I’m the daughter of the mountain, Twenty years I work the river, Like so many here,” and concludes with, “You can stop this before the chance is gone, Join in the song, Save the Arkansas.”

The press release noted that “The singer grew up further south in Colorado on the Arkansas River,” and, “At the age of 18, she worked as a professional raft guide on the Arkansas.” A folk-singer reference said she was “Raised in a small town in the Colorado Rockies,” and in a 2007 interview with the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, she said she was from Salida before she headed to Boston and New York.

She has won several songwriting awards, and is scheduled to perform on June 6 at the Feedstore in Westcliffe.