The last time I see River Whyless I was in Austin, Texas for SxSW 2012. It was a Wednesday afternoon, which is typically my favorite day of that week. I’ve just arrived in town with fresh legs and a grin on my face as I prepare to see a hundred bands and meet up with old friends. So on Wednesday, the various characters in our entourage all made the pedestrian quest from hotels to a wine bar called Uncorked – not your typical music venue.
Woody, Shirk, Safariman, my cousin Katy, and a college pal named Rocky all arrived, exchanged hugs, opted for craft brews instead of wine and sat down at a patio table outdoors to catch a set by River Whyless. It was a perfect setting for the North Carolina band as they greeted a small crowd of folks who had discovered their debut album, A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door, but like us, had never seen them in person.
We were greeted with a soothing set of acoustic folk music highlighted by co-songwriters, Halli Anderson and Ryan O’Keefe. Halli’s violin gives each song a dreamy, ethereal quality while Ryan’s string plucking (with feather accent in his guitar) and percussion from Alex McWalters keep songs rooted in the ground. River Whyless have an earthly quality that went down perfectly with my organic IPA on that day.
It was at this set that we invited them in for a session. It was also at this set that I found my last chair to sit in for the week of SxSW. You can visit the River Whyless BandCamp page to stream their debut album and buy it at the low price of name your own.