Artist: Ella Rider
Featured song: “Land of Hope”
• Riderbymyside at The Lot, 745 NW Columbia St., Bend; 6 p.m. Thursday; free.
• Riderbymyside at McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 NW Bond St., Bend; 7 p.m. Dec. 26; free.
Ella Rider, 13, is vocalist, songwriter and fiddler for local Americana band Riderbymyside (yes, she’s the namesake “Rider”), which also features her father, Gregg Morris, and mother, Kristin Morris. A lifelong Bendite, Rider has been playing music for as long as she can remember, and also plays guitar, piano, mandolin and ukulele. Riderbymyside is working on its debut album; however, “Land of Hope” is planned for a future Rider solo project.
Q: What’s the story behind the song — how was it written, recorded, etc.?
A: Most of my inspiration comes from a new experience; I tend to write my best songs when I’m upset. When I am having a hard time, writing a song about it helps me through it. Most of the time I come up with a melody that I like or lyrics I like, but never at the same time. Then, usually weeks later, I change all my parts around until I realize I already had a song; I just had to put the right pieces together. I like all my songs to stay really positive, so they can speak to people and mean something to them. My songs seem to mean something different to everyone because everyone’s life and experiences are different and unique.
Q: What’s the story inside this song — what’s it about?
A: “Land of Hope” is about believing you can survive the hard times and knowing no matter what, you will be OK. I wrote this song from my own experience, but I think it speaks to everyone because at some point or another, everyone has gone through a tough time. This song is about hope and always staying positive no matter what’s going wrong. This song means a lot to me not only because it was something good I took away from a rough time, but because it has managed to touch other people in a way I can’t explain. The song is about hope, and everyone could use some hope.
— Brian McElhiney, The Bulletin