Best Band Featuring a Random Assortment of Instruments (2008)

Dry River Yacht Club

Onstage there's a bassoon, a bass clarinet, a cello, an assortment of percussive instruments stacked and hanging near a Mac, an acoustic guitar, and, beside the singer's microphone, an accordion. The band members pick up their respective instruments and begin to play. The sounds they construct are as haunting as they are unique.

Even in a music scene as varied as Phoenix's, Dry River Yacht Club stands out. The guitarist plays like a percussionist, bobbing up and down as he slaps his guitar body to keep the beat. The percussion is like a range of accents punctuating the lilting, singsong style of the vocalist.

Calling Dry River Yacht Club experimental doesn't cut it. Perhaps transcendental is more fitting. Though they play venues like Rhythm Room and Yucca Tap Room, they don't quite fit in with the alt-country rockers or the R&B acts they share the stage with. But put them in a concert hall or a theater and they'd still stand out.

Maybe that's why Dry River Yacht Club works. They're so beautiful in the way they're completely out of place that you can't help but listen.


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