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River Whyless: Tiny Desk Concert

This immensely talented band from Asheville, N.C., was my favorite discovery at this year's Americana Music Festival. River Whyless builds its music around fiddle, guitar and harmonies, with imagination and textures that set the band apart from many of its acoustic and folk-based peers.

At the Tiny Desk, River Whyless' members used a typewriter for rhythm, a toy piano for whimsy and a harmonium for mood, as well as a gong, multiple odd percussive accents and subtle guitar effects. There are hints of Paul Simon in their inflections and poetic phrasing, and their songs feel fresh and nicely crafted. "Life Crisis" is a song from 2015's self-titled EP, but the others are new to me; here's hoping we'll have a new album in 2016.

River Whyless EP is available now. (iTunes) (Amazon)

Set List

  • "Life Crisis"
  • "Sailing Away"
  • "Baby Brother"
  • Credits

    Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Walker, Niki Walker, Julia Reihs; Production Assistant: Kate Drozynski; photo by Jun Tsuboike/NPR

    For more Tiny Desk Concerts, subscribe to our podcast.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
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