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“Orange River” – The Chava People


“I recorded this song because of the lack of oversight that was going on…”, states songwriter and producer, James Mirabal. “When all that mine waste rushed into the Animas I was really shocked and confused. Then I felt mislead and then finally angry… because this could have been prevented…”

Soulful and lamenting notes pierce this hard and driving rock ballad titled, “Orange River”.  Mirabal’s tribute to both Durango and the Animas River came out of the frustration and shock that overtook much of Durango and world when the Animas’ waters turned orange this August due to the Gold King mine spill which released 3 million gallons of toxic water into the river. Mirabal’s wailing guitar lines and rock steady vocals remind us that Colorado’s mining legacy is a threat to our present health and community well being –  unless we decide to do something about it… A self employed audio engineer, Mirabal, has worked with environmental groups in the past, documenting successful community led initiatives related to hard rock mine reclamation. “Since I’ve worked with these groups in the past I knew we could have prevented this. We know how to fix these issues. I’m thankful for all the citizens, non profits and businesses that keep the river healthy. I just hope we can work together and clean up these historic waste sites. Once mine waste is remediated we truly make it a part of our past.”

In the middle of Orange River, the guitar line falls out and the catchy pop vocal harmonies pick up in what is one of the song’s more controversial lines, “was it an accident, or did those ass-holes just want the pay?” When listening to this song, it’s easy to imagine back up singers dancing as money falls from the sky into a poisioned river flowing an iridescent orange.

Interestingly Mirabal states, “With this lyric I wanted to express some of the confusion that was being passed through the media… Some sources were claiming or speculating that the EPA did this on purpose… I hardly believe that the EPA intentionally did this, but what I like about that lyric is that it’s open ended. I’m asking the listener who they think was benefiting by putting our watersheds health to the side? The EPA? The Gold King Mine? the Town of Silverton by opposing Superfund cleanup in the past? Who was walking away with the money? and is it really worth it? That’s why I like that line… because it makes the listener think… and hopefully check their sources

To learn more about the Chava People and James Mirabal visit them at www.chavapeopleproductions.com or on facebook.


Orange River
If I could only tell whatʼs going on in hell
Iʼd say the river swells in one big orange hue.
Meanwhile the whole world sets their eyes on Durango.
A toxic river flow has got me feeling the blues.

If they only knew this aint something new.
100 years of casual dumping of these chemicals.
100 years of a legacy is flowing down the river right at me.

And itʼs a crying shame that it takes such a huge mistake for people to realize the true prize;
our mother earth and blue skies.

Meanwhile the EPA gladly takes the blame.
Was it an accident or did those assholes just want that pay?
Want the pay. Want the pay. Want the pay. Want the pay.
Only time will tell how close we are to hell
and if weʼve turned this world into one big circus ground.

100 years of a legacy is flowing down the river right at me.
100 years of a legacy is flowing down the river right at me.

© 2015 Chava People Productions

Learn more about James and the Chava People at ChavaPeopleProductions.com
or on facebook.