The Cumberland River Project is a musical vision created by a man who is proof positive that you are never too old to follow your dreams. Now in his 60s, Frank Renfordt switched lanes, became a songwriter and in the meantime even a singer and producer. 2020 he released his first solo self-titled album as the aforementioned Cumberland River Project celebrating authentic American country music. Frank has come along way from his German origins to embrace the American culture he so adores.
Working in the steel industry for the biggest part of his life, he is intimately aware of the blue-collar narrative and has been immersed in the true backbone of American music since a young age. Dressing up in cowboy attire as a five-year old in his native homeland and reflecting the images he saw on the silver screen provided the impetus that led him to a world of honest, authentic and breathtaking songwriting.
His passion has always been music, but family life, and the demands of his profession meant that those ambitions were always left in the rear-view mirror until opportunity came knocking. Frank has always played guitar and written lyrics and poems, and despite English not being his first language, his aspirations were fulfilled when he entered the American Songwriter Magazine competition and won second place for his lyrics.
The validation of his talent lit a fire within his soul and he began reading and learning everything about songwriting, attending workshops and songwriting retreats, meeting many likeminded people and became part of a wonderful community.
Those experiences gave him the courage to release that debut album which was produced with Dave Demay in the music industry capital of Nashville Tennessee. Although not breaking the internet, it still realized a healthy 250K streams on Spotify and featured on radio in Europe, the USA, Australia, Canada and South America.
Never one to shirk a challenge, 2022 will be the year that announces his sophomore album ‘A Smell of Gravy’. This time he has not only brought in Demay and a whole host of musicians from around the world to collaborate, he has self-produced 8 of the 14 tracks. The result is a multi-layered and varied album. From dark melodic country, to those hints of hillbilly traditional bluegrass and beyond, ‘A Smell of Gravy’ is a classic album awaiting a growing fanbase.