Best of What's Next: Deep River

Music Features Deep River
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Hometown: Northern Virginia
Members: Luke Brindley (guitar), Rachel Beauregard (vocals, keys, floor tom drum), Bryan Dawley (bass, guitar, vocals)
Album: 10 Mornings
For Fans Of: The Brindley Brothers, Nickel Creek, Alison Krauss 

Faithful Paste followers won’t be surprised by our crush on this Americana-soaked folk trio. After all, Luke Brindley, half of former Paste Records duo The Brindley Brothers and proprietor of one of our favorite U.S. venues Jammin’ Java, makes up one-third of the literate outfit.

Dawley was mutual friends with the other two members before Deep River’s formation. When Brindley went hunting for a female vocalist, it was only a matter of time until he came across Beauregard’s honeyed vocals. Their chemistry was instant, and the first practice stretched for two hours.

Each member resides in a different city within a 20 mile radius, but Brindley asserts it’s not been a concern. “Northern Virginia … is really just this giant, sprawling suburb of D.C.,” he says. “It’s sort of a weird area because technically it’s the south but it feels somewhere in between. Where we are, it’s a little more metropolitan. It doesn’t feel very Southern.”

Naturally, Deep River rounds up for practices at Brindley’s Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Va.

The trio have only been playing together since late June, but already have an album ready. Brindley’s brother Daniel prompted the quick production of the group’s debut when he invited them to play the Java for a CD release party. They agreed but realized—there was no album. Yet. “Our schedules were so busy,” Beauregard, a theater vet, says. “We all teach. And I was doing a play in D.C. And the only times we could meet were the morning from nine til two or three over about a week and a half span—so 10 mornings, conveniently” (hence, the appropriate title for 10 Mornings). “We’d shuffle into the studio, get some coffee and go, ‘OK, song a day. Let’s do it.’”

And do it they did. Five hundred people attended the album’s November release party at Java, a venue that typically holds about 200 folks.

As for Deep River’s sometimes-day gigs, Arlington County substitute teacher Beauregard asserts that the experience helps her grow as a performer. “With Deep River, having audience interaction is crucial,” she says, “so it’s kind of nice practice as a teacher to engage and interact with people.”

Brindley, who—like Dawley—teaches guitar, chimes: “I’d say the same thing. Sort of the approach we’re taking is a really grassroots, one-on-one approach of building fans one at a time … Building the one-on-one relationships with people is a way part of what we’re trying to do to grow as a band, for sure.”

In addition to the usual spot at Java and various venues around the D.C.-area, Deep River would like to bring its sweet melodies into your living room.

“But when we started to do [house shows], it was incredible to see people’s reaction, being so close to people,” Beauregard earnestly continues. “Not having any kind of amplification, really … That level of intimacy. And not only between us and them but between themselves. Because a lot of times when you go to a venue as an audience member, there’s still this type of forced law between you and the band and you and the other patrons. It’s actually really cool to see other people connect who didn’t know each other [before]. That’s the thing about music—it sort of has this way of drawing people together into an incredible community … I am so enthralled with this house-concert idea because it’s so incredible to be building that kind of faith with people.”

WHAT’S NEXT: Although the three find wisdom through teaching others, Brindley says they hope to make making music their sole careers. To get there, Deep River works to perfect their live show and promote 10 Mornings. Mostly local appearances scatter the end of 2010’s calendar, but Brindley says more widespread touring in 2011 is in the works.

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