"Born In The Right Country" by River Whyless – A Song Review
A second track from the upcoming album “Kindness, A Rebel” is available for streaming and it adds to the reasons to view River Whyless as an increasing force in their genre. Individual songs have flexibility and variety, since the band includes skilled male and female vocalists, as well as non-standard instruments (violin, banjo, cello…). And the eleven songs on the album will have variety, since all four members of the band contribute to the songwriting. Lyrics are intelligent and often insightful.
“Born In The Right Country” is a timely track about the competitive advantage in achieving the American Dream. Being born on the “right side of town” is not something a person achieves from a focus on hard work; nor is having “the right skin.” At times, the message is poignant and pointed – “Manufactured truth is easy to sell when you own the factory, and you own the hearts of the clientele.”
The first release from the album was “Van Dyke Brown.” It is similarly insightful in its exploration of “finding oneself, finding love, and coming to terms with death -- discovering there is cause for celebration in all parts of life." The melody is uplifting and percussively rich, particularly when contrasted to “Born In The Right Country.”
River Whyless is based in Asheville, North Carolina. The members are Ryan O'Keefe (guitars, vocals), Halli Anderson (violin, vocals), Alex McWalters (drums, percussion) and Daniel Shearin (bass, vocals, harmonium, cello, banjo). Their tour schedule is included at the bottom of this post. It includes a visit to The Chapel, arguably the most beautiful of the San Francisco venues (for tickets to the SF visit, CLICK HERE).
"Born In The Right Country" was penned by the band's Ryan O'Keefe and he notes, "At its core, 'Born In The Right Country' is about innate luck. Cosmic luck, that of an individual, born into a country or society which accepts them as that unique individual. Born in the Right Country speaks both through the eyes of our president and the narrator. In the song, vanity seems to trickle down much more freely than money and you can see it take root in the middle and lower classes as we strive to live like the upper. The dominant class is built on the idea that anyone can, and should become like them. We were raised to call this the American Dream. It's imperative to the success of the upper class that the American Dream stays as it is, a dream. Meanwhile, the reality persists, which is that the vast majority of people stay in the class to which they were born. Sure, there are people that break through, in our country especially, but the rich generally stay rich and the poor generally stay poor."