RIVER WHYLESS

  
RIVER WHYLESS
  

03/09/2017

Visulite Theatre (16+ (Must have ID) - Under 16 with Parent Only)

Doors Open: 7:00 - Show Starts: 8:00

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“We stopped clinging to our individual visions,” says Ryan O’Keefe. “All our songs and ideas got thrown into one pot from which anyone and everyone was free to draw.”

“Nobody felt as though they were compromising because it was all completely new and unexplored territory,” adds Daniel Shearin.

“We were mashing songs together,” says Halli Anderson. “We were co-writing choruses and trading verses and switching instruments.”

“There was an energy,” adds Alex McWalters. “And the songs just kept coming.”

When River Whyless set out to write We All The Light (out August 26th on Roll Call Records), its three original members – O’Keefe, Anderson and McWalters – were already accustomed to “collaborating” with each other. Collaboration is a word often used to glamorize a much less appealing process: compromise. By definition, compromise requires mutual concessions. It means one must listen at least as much as one speaks. It’s a give and take, a back and forth, an amendment of individual visions for the sake of something greater. With We All The Light, River Whyless bought into that process.

In O’Keefe and Anderson the Asheville, NC band already had two accomplished songwriters. In McWalters, an idiosyncratic percussionist. They were accustomed to the slog of progress, to the necessary but often arduous give and take that ensures only the very best ideas survive. But when Shearin joined the band in 2012, River Whyless acquired not only an accomplished bass player and multi-instrumentalist, but also a third singer/songwriter. The new dynamic added yet another strong personality to an already potent lot, and the result was a period of creative gestation wherein the band’s four distinct musical voices struggled to coalesce into a single vision. In short, River Whyless worked for three years to compile a couple albums’ worth of songs that everybody liked, but not everybody loved.  

It wasn’t till the band decamped to Maine in the summer of 2015 that We All The Light began to take shape. Set up in a woodshed, the only objective was to start fresh. New songs, new ideas. The slate was clean, and their minds, coerced by creative desperation, were open. Every morning, before entering the woodshed, they helped Joe, their host, haul cedar logs across the property. Joe was building another shed. It seemed an apt metaphor. The logs were large, and it took four people to haul them, and the ground was uneven. But it wasn’t complicated, as long as there was communication. One log at a time, piece by piece. This made sense to them. There was a newfound clarity. Compromise developed into actual collaboration.

riverwhyless.com



TALL HEIGHTS

  
TALL HEIGHTS
  

Start Time: 8:00

Getting there is half the fun, as the old saying goes, but the journey is really the whole point for Boston progressive-folk duo Tall Heights. And singer/guitarist Tim Harrington and singer/cellist Paul Wright have had one hell of a journey, starting from playing simple acoustics on the streets of Boston to reaching Sony Music Masterworks, for which they are releasing their biggest, brightest, and riskiest work thus far. Neptune is the band’s latest step in the ongoing evolution of their sound and style.

Neptune is backed with pristine vocal harmonies and splattered with surprises: there’s subtly chugging electric guitar and a spare descending bass line on “Iron in the Fire,” ethereal synthesizers and a spacious drum part on “Spirit Cold,” a brittle splash of percussion to open “Backwards and Forwards” and feedback created by two cellphones on “Cross My Mind.” The album is clearly the product of a long journey, but whether it’s Tall Height’s final destination remains unclear. “I can hear the evolution happening,” Harrington says. “I feel like we’re walking across a bridge from one place to another, and maybe I’ll always feel that way, but I’m really happy with how we’re moving.”

tallheights.com