Threats & Promises

River Man’s Bedroom Folk, And More Music News and Gossip

River Man

WEDNESDAY NIGHT MEETING: Rabbit Hole Studios (1001 Winterville Road) will host the irrepressible Cassie Chantel on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. Also on the bill this night is The Burning Sun from Burlington, VT. Should be a nicely paired bill between the latter’s psyche-freak-folk tendencies and the former’s perpetually poignant and personal hip hop. Speaking of which, Chantel released her latest single, “Attractive (Prod. by Luigi),” just a few weeks ago. On top of this, she’s already released a new EP (Thank You Auntie) and another single (“Start Over”). Find the new single at and everything else via major streaming services. Keep up with her at, and check out The Burning Suns at For all things Rabbit Hole, please see

DON’T LET ME HEAR YOU SAY LIFE’S TAKING YOU NOWHERE: Preorders are open now for the new album named Golden Years by Parker Gispert (The Whigs). Gispert’s most recent album was 2018’s Sunlight Tonight. Fans can preview the title track as well as the album’s second track “All The Rage” which are, respectively, a smooth summery pop rocker and a groovy guitar cooker in the spirit of, say, a more contemplative Billy Squire. Album, cassette and digital versions are all available for preorder. Golden Years is slated for release on Sept. 2 courtesy of Normaltown/New West Records. He next plays locally Aug. 26 at the 40 Watt. 

GOING TO TELL HM ALL I CAN: There’s been a steady succession of nearly anonymous artists crossing my desk recently and, more often than not, they’ve been an absolute treat to hear. The latest case of such is a guy who goes by River Man and just released a seven-track collection of old and new demos. The EP is self-titled, but this honestly seems like less of a case of deliberately crafting an EP and more a case of emptying the shelves. As one might expect from his moniker, there’s a marked Nick Drake influence at work here, but it also touches on Jeff Buckley. Neither, however, looms so large that River Man owes his art to either. This is just a superbly enjoyable collection of what are supposed to be relatively unfinished works—they’re demos, after all—and I’m glad to have stumbled upon them. Find this over at 

SCREEN TIME: Athens performer and 2022 Vic Chesnutt Songwriter of the Year award winner Elijah Johnston, fresh from releasing his album Day Off back in January, is back with a new set of tunes. This new record, though, is a soundtrack to an indie film named Uncle Honker. I mean, the thing is titled Uncle Honker (Official Motion Picture Soundtrack), after all. I’ve not yet sat all the way through the film and can’t begin to explain what it’s all about, but you can catch it yourself online at Johnston’s music here is delightfully experimental and drifts away from his normally smooth production style into something much more down home and, seemingly, hands-on. Especially lovely here are “Honker Waltz” and “Dream Song.” Dig this over at, and keep up with all other info via 

MEANING AND METHODS: Wim Tapley & The Cannons released its new single “Gut Punch” last Friday, and you can find it on all streaming services. The gently plucked, acoustic-based number surfs a smooth wave of nearly blue-eyed soul but infused with solid participation in the new wave of 21st century sincerity. This thing kind of sneaks up on you, too, with an arrangement that builds so slowly—but powerfully and confidently—just as you’ve settled into one section the band takes the stakes higher. Wim Tapley himself released his last full length, The Woodlands, in 2020. To find his older work like that, please see, and if it turns out he decided to put the new single there, too, then all the better. 

EVERYONE LOAD UP: The Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library will host a Family Day at the Richard B. Russell Jr. Special Collections Libraries Building (300 S. Hull St.) to shine a light on the new exhibit—mentioned last week in this column—“Georgia on My Mind: Finding Belonging in Music History.” This event happens Saturday, Aug. 13 from 1–4 p.m. Attendees can enjoy classes (including singing, dancing, movement and playing instruments) courtesy of Cathy Rumfelt of Allegro Athens. The library notes that folks will also be able to enjoy and explore the exhibit by participating in a scavenger hunt and enjoy some immersive storytelling in the gallery. This event is free and open to the public. Further, free parking is available at the Hull Street deck right across the street from the Special Collections Libraries. For more information, please contact Jess Brown at or 706-542-6367.