Many listeners would think that they have something that can be called rural sound pigeonholed. By those closed definitions, it should be something definitely folk, country, with a possible touch of blues, essentially kinds of music that actually did originate in times when rural dominated over urban.
Still, at some point, urban started to infiltrate rural (and vice versa), with rock elements merging with folk, country, and further on, bringing along more urban themes, or those of open road travels.
But, what about such a combination that focuses on leading a bigger part of your life on the outside – outdoors as such, but not just roaming the open roads?
It is no wonder then that Westrock, a band that originates and works out of Colorado tries to answer that question with their debut album, aptly named Welcome to the River.
The five-piece band (Dave Beegle: Electric Guitar & Bass, August Huckabee: Lead Vocal & Acoustic Guitar, Amy Ballinger: Harmony Vocal & Mandolin, Christian Teele: Drums, Enion Pelta-Tiller: Fiddle), revolves around the ideas of Huckabee, whose musical ideas are essentially rooted in Texas Country/Red Dirt scene.
As the band put it, Welcome to the River is meant to be stories of people who are happier outside. Whether it is agriculture or recreation, the common theme is friends, adventures, and peace found somewhere in the sun.
Essentially, that includes both cowboys and hippies, as essential stereotypes often connected to the outdoors itself, and Westrock covers that quite wide span throughout the album, like on “Dark Horse” or “Quiet Place.”
Of course, it helps that the band can boast excellent musicianship and some nifty vocal harmonies when Huckabee’s music demands it, notching another good plus for Americana music with Welcome to the River.