Portland-via-Long Beach folk-pop outfit (I’ve tired of the “folk-pop” genre, but these guys kinda fit the bill—everyone is encouraged to sing along) the Red River is a big band. About 10 folks in all (some older-school Portland folks among them), though it’s a bit of a rotating cast that surrounds frontman Bill Roberts.
When they were on the road last month, the band stopped by the NPR studios and recorded these homey, low-key versions of songs from the band’s latest disc, Little Songs About the Big Picture—and one, “Milk and Honey,” not from the album—and slap their hands against their pants. Just so you know, all these kids usually play instruments, making a pretty massive noise. I like this little noise just as much, and I like that the band is comfortable enough with itself to make little cat noises in the middle of “Morning Routine.” The last song here, “Dirty Dave,” is worth fast-forwarding to if you’re the impatient type.
The Red RiverSpace