River Whyless, Thursday, June 28, 7 p.m., bruesalehouse.com
t would be easy enough to dismiss a group whose keyboardist plays a broken harmonium, toy piano and manual typewriter — clacking just one key over and over, like an even more single-minded Jack Nicholson in The Shining
— as some kind of novelty act. But, in the case of North Carolina’s River Whyless, that would be a serious mistake. The largely acoustic indie-folk band boasts no less than four talented and original songwriters. The alternating vocals and gently compelling harmonies of Halli Anderson and Ryan O’Keeffe are undeniably beguiling, while Anderson skillfuly uses her violin to slip subtle Balkan and Celtic influences into the mix. Small wonder that NPR’s Bob Boilen continues to champion the band, whose 2016 Tiny Desk
session is essential viewing. Especially impressive is their hypnotic new sophomore full-length Kindness, A Rebel
. As the title suggests, the album’s lyrics view our current societal condition from a compassionate perspective, something of true value in a time of shrill discord. If you live in Pueblo but haven’t yet caught a show at Brues Alehouse, this performance would make a fine introduction. And for those of us who live beyond the city limits, it will almost certainly be worth the drive.