A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door

by River Whyless

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Contact: riverwhyless@gmail.com

A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door was recorded by River Whyless in 2011, and was officially released digitally on January 10th 2012. The physical release will be on March 1st.


released January 10, 2012

River Whyless is:

Ryan O’Keefe- Vocals, Guitar, Bells
Halli Anderson- Vocals, Violin, Bells
Alex McWalters- Drums
Dan Shearin- Bass, Vocals

Contributing Talents Include:
Matt Rossino -Bass, Banjo, Ukulele, Vocals
Colin Agnew- Percussion
Michelle Cobley- Harp
Ashley Cofield- Viola
Lindsay Pruett- Violin
Melissa Hyman- Cello
Paul Moore- Accordion

Written and produced by River Whyless.
Mixed and Engineered by Ryan O’Keefe in his Roving Home Studio
Mastered by Brent Lambert at Kitchen Mastering
Album Art by Brendan O'Keefe and Becky O’Keefe with contrabutions from Reve Biggers



all rights reserved


River Whyless Asheville, North Carolina

“River Whyless is at its best on its rhythmic indie-rock numbers which they make their own with layers of fiddle, [and] tasteful percussion… Handclaps, shakers and a simple bassline on a vocal break in “Pigeon Feathers” is a high point. O’Keefe’s reedy, at times aching lead vocal is pleasantly raw and poignant, and well-matched by the sweetness of Anderson’s lyric contributions.” –Mountain Express ... more


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Track Name: Leaf

I’m not searching for perfect,
I’m perfecting my search,
To pay the debt they say is high above town.

It’s buried deep and its shallow,
I’ll pan the river tomorrow,
With the hope that I make my way home,
To a place where our love could have grown.

If the rain fell in sheets,
And washed everything clean,
Then I would be miserable.

You’d kneel in the attic,
Of you fathers apartment,
You’d pray, “Lord, what can I do?”
But I’m not asking him, I’m asking you.

At the top of morning,
And the bottom of night,
You were sleeping closer to him.

I wept in the stairwell,
To our love I said farewell,
I had to just let you go,
To the God that I’d never know.
Track Name: Great Parades
Great Parades

Go where the cold don’t bother you so
And chill up your heart--you’ll stifle it’s growth
With the warmth of your arms there you will find your repose

Light crackin’ down on the mountainside
We run and seek out the holes for to hide
But I’m not the one who’s white inside

Give me a house that sits in the sun
And with every shout know you’re the one
And I found you out, out of everyone

Snow caving in the roof of this place
Sticks wet on your skin like ivory paste
And I want to put the color back into your face
Track Name: Stone

I’ve been in love,
And I’ve been lost.
Now would a bedside prayed cover the cost of us?
So come off your knees.
Is God just another word for company,
That I don’t need?

I have work,
And I have want to fill the room.
But when the stage lights dim they all walk away from me.
So come off your knees.
This hotel room is cold please some company,
Your company was all I needed.

If a ghost knows,
There is no door,
Then the turn of a stone,
Is the god I’m indebted to.

I heard that you stopped,
I heard that you stopped praying for us,
Like your fellows and my family.

I wont let you stop,
No I wont let you stop calling for me,
From the hollows of your body.

If a ghost knows,
There is no door,
Then the turn of a stone,
Is the god I’m indebted to.
Track Name: Cedar Dream Part I
Cedar Dream Part I

The old shed with the boxes,
They leak something.
And your old bed with the new spread,
It creaks something right to me.
Right to me.

The cinder and the timber,
One road to be alone.
The cabin we’d have died in,
And finally we were home, so we had to leave.
So we had to leave.
Track Name: Cedar Dream Part II
Cedar Dream Part II

Where did you go my statue friend?
When did you become a marionette?
And who would you choose,
If the curtains closed and your strings were loose?

Where did you go my cedar dream?
Golden meadows, a silver stream.
And where will I sleep,
If the trees we felled never stand as beams?

The frame was wide and we built it truly.
We shook and swore, “This will make us happy.”
And man what a thrill,
It’s the life we’ve built, it’s the one we’ll die for.
Track Name: Unfound Door
Unfound Door

I have finally weighed your heavy tongue,
And I can finally say I’m running love.

I never want to be whole.
I’ll hoe this garden malleable.
When the greenery’s gone to seed,
I pull the dry earth clean and free,
So I wouldn’t want to get too close to me.

I have finally weighed your heavy tongue,
And I can finally say I’m running love.

I heard about a secret field,
Way in the woods up on the hills.
I hiked for three damn years,
Shouted into our broken ears,
Climbed high in a tree,
And found that field not there,
So I climbed back down in a blossom of self-defeat.

I never want to be a hole.
I drove by the church it looked warm.
That glass was glowing red,
My heart was high up in my chest,
I need community,
I need to finally believe in me.

Am I ready?
I’m not ready.
My hands are steady on the wheel…
Track Name: Pigeon Feathers
Pigeon Feathers

I once dreamed I was a poet,
But I was bound to a single page.
You’re not just a pen and a piece of paper,
You’re a dog-eared book grown old with age.

I’ve got a friend with a golden table,
And he dines with the best of men.
He’d buy you that silver mirror,
If you could see that it’s only sand.

I believe that I’m a writer,
But I am bound to a single page.
Sipping coffee at the edge of nightfall,
Kissing you under summer rain.

But you feed the fire when you close the door…
Track Name: Widows Walk
Widows Walk

He’ll bury her in that old coat,
Made of wool knit across her knees.
On the mudflats off the stone coast,
Her bottle broke the bow he took to the sea.

While the others returned with their hulls full,
She waited patiently,
Twisting thread between her thumbnails,
Oh the dread she held between her teeth.

Her boy stands tall on the old wharf,
Now he’s screaming, “Mother please,”
And she’s knee deep in the white surf,
Waiting for her son to leave.

Alone is the widow, the gulls and no mast to the east.
And she’s the sheep he kept to stave off the grief.
The pennies they saved only to place in her eyes.
And the love that she gave to him and now she’s gone,
She’s gone,
He’s gone,
So the boy let her leave.
Track Name: Cedar Dream Part III
Cedar Dream Part III

We could have stayed there laid flat in the snow,
Alone in our aim for the cabin.
I wanted to love you.
I wanted love white as the winter.

Where did you go my spotted owl?
Have you turned your head have you fled our tower?
Tell me where do we stand.
Should I be running love, or can I hold you hand?

Summon now those cedar beams,
The care in here is timeless.
The wild hunt will rest tethered,
For its path is not but endless.

Was the frame too wide, did we build it empty?
Well, I said I’d try, you screamed you loved me.
But man what a thrill,
It’s the life we built, it’s the one we died for.
Track Name: YU

Hold me down,
So you can see,
The painted ground,
And we’ll be free.

Cross the land,
Just to look,
String a can,
With a child’s hope.

Go home now...

You’re a carnival of leaves,
Could you settle down for me?
You’re a Carnival of leaves,
Would you ask the same of me?