If making an album has become a lost art, then River Whyless is doing its best to revive it. Celebrating the release of their new record, Kindness, A Rebel (Roll Call Records), the band performed on a warm summer evening Friday to a relaxed, picnicking crowd at Grist Mill Park near George Washington’s sprawling country estate, Mt. Vernon.
Horse Feathers recently brought its indie folk rock to Union Stage supporting its new album Appreciation in a concert that showcased founder and frontman Justin Ringle’s vocal and stage chops to an enthusiastic audience. Continue reading
By the time River Whyless took the stage at the Herndon Festival on Saturday, not a drop had fallen all day — and both band and audience were hopeful that it would stay that way for at least one more 45-minute set. The threat of storms made the day a risky proposition, but the rain, thankfully, held off.
Although I’m a late arrival to the post-rock party, I started following This Will Destroy You a couple years ago. With their sonic power, strong sense of melody and extreme technical abilities, this band’s music spoke to me in a way I’d never experienced before. So I jumped at the chance to see TWDY live at the Black Cat recently. As a bonus, to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the release of the eponymously named first full length album, the band would be performing it and the 2006 EP, Young Mountain, in their entireties.
Accompanied by second guitarist Bill Mackay, Ryley Walker’s music is an expert amalgamation reminiscent of the Grateful Dead’s live “space” passages, Pat Metheny’s delicately picked jazz guitar, and today’s proliferation of post-rock bands. Although the songs largely “felt” like instrumentals due to the extended improvisational sections, Ryley’s occasional vocals owed much to the influence of Nick Drake and John Martyn during his performance opening for Calexico at the Lincoln Theatre on Friday.
Calexico’s Joey Burns is a gentleman. Aside from his easy-going banter between songs, his musical generosity toward his bandmates, and the stellar renditions of his compositions, he made sure to thank the adoring Lincoln Theater crowd repeatedly throughout his band’s performance on Friday, with a special shout-out to those parents of small children who went through considerable effort to be there. As we were to learn, the Calexico frontman knew firsthand of what he spoke.
Black. The audience was dressed in black. Which seems entirely appropriate for Russian Circles’ music for it feels absolute. It doesn’t compromise, and it is powerful enough to withstand any light. But strangely enough, despite its seemingly impenetrable “wall of sound” feel, their music has soul, an accessibility that kept the audience on Wednesday at the Rock and Roll Hotel engaged and rapt, hanging on every note, eager for more.