The Reivers were a pop band from Austin, Texas in the 1980s.
The Reivers' first incarnation, Zeitgeist, originated in Austin, TX with a lineup that included: John Croslin- main songwriter, vocalist, guitars; Kim Longacre- vocals, guitars; Kelly Bell- bass; and Joey Shuffield- drums. Shuffield left the band during rehearsals and was replaced by Garrett Williams. By the time their first self-titled E.P. was released on db Records in 1984, Cindy Toth had replaced Bell as bass player. This new lineup would remain consistent throughout the remainder of the Reivers' existence. Releasing the full-length album "Translate Slowly" the next year, they began to build a sizeable audience. In mid-1987 they were forced to change their name by a new age band which claimed the copyright. Choosing the name "The Reivers" (pronounced Reever, meaning Thieves or Raiders- from the Scottish "Reiffar") from the title of a William Faulkner novel, they continued recording. "Translate Slowly" was later reissued with the new name on cd with additional tracks.
Their second album also came out in 1987. Called "Saturday", it showed a marked maturity in the sound and songwriting. 1989 saw the release "End of the Day". "Pop Beloved", which would prove to be The Reivers' final album, came out in 1991. They played their final show at Austin's Cannibal Club later in the year. The road during the band's career had been a rocky one. In an Austin Chronicle article, Ken Lieck writes:
"The record business troubles that plagued Zeitgeist/The Reivers from day one are legend in themselves…. what is mostly important is that circumstances led the group to an early breakup and Croslin far from the urge to start another band."
Record company troubles always seemed to be a problem for Zeitgeist/The Reivers. From another Ken Lieck Austin Chronicle article (vol. 15, issue 32):
"As Zeitgeist, the quartet had built up a good following through an indie album and touring, but on the eve of releasing their first major label album, Capitol Records did a name search and found that the German word had already been trademarked by a New Age ensemble. Front man John Croslin recalls that the crystal-wearers "weren't flexible at all" and so the band ended up with the new name, leaving their fan base baffled. "We could've changed it to `Zeitghost' or something, but we didn't," says Croslin. "We all regretted the name change later, but it's what we voted on." Keeping in mind that the band was having other problems, including record company apathy, leading to their giving up the ghost (ouch) in 1991, Croslin adds that the name change "wasn't the crushing blow, but at the time it was another bad thing." Considering that when R.E.M. released their hit album Green, a band called Green received a good deal of press by promptly putting out an EP titled R.E.M., one can only wonder how much smoother the transition would have been if the Reivers had simply titled their first album 'Zeitgeist.' "
After the breakup of the band, Croslin turned his hand to producing and engineering projects by other bands. The short lived ABC show "Cupid" (created by previous Austinite Rob Thomas) featured a character named after John called "Crazy Judge Croslin". In 2006, he co-founded a new band called Fire Marshals of Bethlehem, which he left a couple of years later (amicably). The other Reivers have also been involved in various musical projects since the breakup of the group, as well as working day jobs. In 2008, the Reivers reunited for a few shows in their hometown of Austin, TX and by the end of the year had added a keyboard player and rechristened themselves under the new name Right Or Happy, with intentions to record and perform.
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