Michael A. Rivers, 55, leads a musical double life: sanitation worker by day, R&B recording artist by night. The longtime Mamaroneck local has seen his fair share of oddities in the wee hours, too. When he’s not keeping the curbs clean, he’s recording music in a Mount Vernon studio. In fact, Rivers released his first album in 2014, Trying to Work It Out, and is laying down his second. We caught him between gigs to see how he keeps everything in harmony.
What time do you get up in the morning?
I’m on the truck by 6:40 a.m., so I’m usually up by 5 a.m. to make breakfast and prepare for the day. I cook two or three eggs and wash it down with a glass of milk. That powers me through my shift.
How long have you been a sanitation worker?
This is my 17th season working with the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Joint Sanitation Commission. I’ve been with my crew for a long time, and we’re like family now.
Any strange sightings early in the morning?
I’ve seen the usual suspects — foxes, raccoons, deer — but I see a lot of coyotes, too. Once I saw a bear. It looked small, but a bear’s a bear. They’re common in Northern Westchester, but more of these creatures live in lower Westchester than we realize!
How long have you lived in Mamaroneck?
I’m from North Carolina, but I spent my summers up here with relatives. My family moved here in 1978, and I finished high school here. I’ve been in Mamaroneck ever since.
What do you do when your shift ends?
Anytime I’m not at work, I’m at the recording studio. I rent recording space in Mount Vernon and sing. Day, night, anytime. I grew up singing in church, and I moved into R&B and soul. I released my first album in 2014, and I’m working on the follow-up. I love singing. I sing on my route, and the folks on my route know I’m on-shift because they can hear me coming from down the block! I’ve performed in Manhattan and Brooklyn but not in Westchester — yet!