Live Review: River Whyless @ Union Stage — 4/11/22

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River Whyless perform at Union Stage on April 11, 2022. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

For those of us who’ve seen our favorite bands multiple times (followers of the Grateful Dead and Phish come to mind), we’ve learned how to spot patterns and/or variations in the live performances of the songs, onstage banter, and the unspoken conversation between artist and audience. Although I have yet to follow River Whyless on tour, I have diligently observed their career for close to a decade and have seen the band perform nearly twenty times. This past Monday, River Whyless appeared at Union Stage showcasing songs from their new album, Monoflora, and I was just as captivated as the first time I saw them perform in 2013.

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Preview: Indigo De Souza @ Black Cat, 4/20/22

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Indigo De Souza (Photo by Charlie Boss)

Last year, Indigo De Souza released Any Shape You Take, her sophomore album, via Saddle Creek receiving acclaim from outlets such as Pitchfork, New York Times, NPR, Stereogum, The FADER, Consequence, Paste and more.

Indigo tours her new music at Black Cat on Wednesday, April 20.

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Snapshots: Town Mountain @ The Hamilton Live — 2/1/20

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Town Mountain performs at The Hamilton Live on Feb. 1, 2020. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

Town Mountain brought its A-game to DC recently with a solid performance at The Hamilton Live. The evolutionary bluegrass band that plays with a rock ‘n’ roll feel performed songs from its vast catalog along with a few covers, including a bluegrass version of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire.”

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Music Park: Town Mountain @ Pearl Street Warehouse — 10/12/18

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Town Mountain performs at Pearl Street Warehouse on Oct. 12, 2018. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

If you’re a fan of bluegrass, you likely know Town Mountain. The North Carolina quintet is at the forefront of the next generation of bluegrass greatness. They have a new album coming on Oct. 26th — New Freedom Blues — and the band made a stop at Pearl Street Warehouse recently to put on a show and promote the album.

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Don’t Miss: Town Mountain @ Pearl Street Warehouse, 10/12/18

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Town Mountain (Photo by Sandlin Gaither)

Ashville, North Carolina, bluegrass quintet Town Mountain will release its much anticipated sixth studio album, New Freedom Blues, on Oct. 26. The gents roll into Pearl Street Warehouse in advance of the release for a show on Friday, Oct. 12.

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Music Park: River Whyless @ Union Stage — 9/19/18

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River Whyless performs at Union Stage on Sept. 19, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

After a couple warm-up gigs in the DC area earlier this summer, then crisscrossing the country in support of a new release, Kindness, A Rebel (RollCall Records), River Whyless returned to Union Stage recently. Despite a grueling tour schedule that started back in May 2018, River Whyless turned in a lively, energetic set featuring songs primarily from their last two albums, the aforementioned Kindness… and 2016’s We All the Light.

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Music Park: River Whyless @ Grist Mill Park — 6/8/18

RiverWhyless14 River Whyless performs at Grist Mill Park in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 8, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

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.

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Music Park: River Whyless @ Herndon Festival — 6/2/18

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River Whyless performs at the Herndon Festival on June 2, 2018. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

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.

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Music Park: Angel Olsen @ 9:30 Club — 12/15/17

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Angel Olsen performs at 9:30 Club on Dec. 15, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo) 

The first time I heard Angel Olsen sing, the name Patsy Cline kept repeating through my mind, and not because Wikipedia describes Ms. Olsen’s music as indie folk, indie rock, or alternative country, and not because their voices sound anything alike. Perhaps one could make a case that underneath Angel’s county blues melodies, there lurks Patsy’s Cline’s spirit. But for me the purity of their voices share the same mix of vulnerability and world-weariness.

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