Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Many modern country-folk acts like to craft their twang-tinged tracks from cramped Brooklyn apartments or open-mic nights on Nashville’s Music Row, but Asheville, N.C., quartet River Whyless makes music straight from the hills of North Carolina. The group—singer/guitarist Ryan O’Keefe, singer/violinist Halli Anderson, singer/bassist Dan Shearin, and drummer Alex McWalters—cultivated their harmony-driven sound while attending Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., in 2006. But while the outfit’s spirited take on Americana is rooted in O’Keefe’s and Anderson’s love-drunk vocals, it really comes to life by virtue of Anderson’s smooth fiddling and a generous sprinkling of clap and stomp percussion. Recorded at the quartet’s home studio in Asheville, the band’s debut LP, 2012’s A Stone, a Leaf, an Unfound Door, is a collection of toe-tapping tracks that are equal parts rootsy folk and hummable pop. A staple on the folk festival circuit, River Whyless’ infectious live performances are known to inspire spontaneous sing-a-longs—and, for the truly moved, dance-a-longs. River Whyless performs with Letitia Van Sant and the Bonafides at 9 p.m. at Gypsy Sally’s, 3401 K St. NW. $10–$15. (202) 333-7700. gypsysallys.com.