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Brett Barest on Greenville Music: The Yawpers Tear Down The Radio Room

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One of my favorite things about writing about the local music scene is that it forces me to keep up with the local music scene. What I mean is, I would like to claim that I would be on top of who is playing nearby at any given moment but I know life gets in the way sometimes. At a minimum, I would likely ignore shows that I knew I could not go to, because why torture myself with the tease of a good show on a night when I knew I would be working? The result, then, is that I would miss out on a lot of good music.

I was reminded of this last week when, even though I could not make it to The Radio Room or Velo Fellow Wednesday or Saturday nights, respectively, Todd Albright and Matt Walsh still became artists I now have keen interest in and have listened to a lot in the last week. Likewise, the Wife and I have an insanely busy week and weekend ahead with the start of Farmers Market season and I could totally envision myself avoiding a music calendar when my regular calendar is already too cluttered. That, my friends, would have been a mistake.

As I perused iOnGreenville’s music calendar for the weekend ahead, I stopped dead in my figurative tracks when I ran across The Yawpers. They are one of those bands where I just knew 30 seconds into the first song that this was the most important show of the week. What might have been just another name on the calendar became one of my new favorite bands and I do not say that lightly.

For anyone who has ever been on either side of the “Rock & roll is dead” debate, look no further than The Yawpers. Rock might be on life support when it comes to the Cardi B obsessed mainstream but if you look to a stage near you it is alive, well, and even flourishing thanks to bands like this.

The Yawpers got together in Colorado in 2011 and released two independent albums before being signed by Bloodshot Records immediately following their set at the 2015 South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Since then, they have released three albums with the label, most recently Human Question which came out less than two weeks ago. I am listening to it for the second time as I type this and I enjoy this band more and more with every track.

The opening track “Child of Mercy” sets the pace early with a dirty blues guitar riff that gives way to full on onslaught of punk rock guitar that kicks you right in the teeth to close the track. The second song, “Dancing on My Knees” keeps the tone, seamlessly alternating between blues, rockabilly, and straight up punk rock influenced sounds. The title track “Human Question” adds a psychedelic element just to make clear that an album – or evening – with The Yawpers is going to take you on a wild musical ride.

For Greenville listeners, that evening is this Thursday night at The Radio Room. The Yawpers will be joined by fellow Colorado band In the Whale and Asheville’s Dirty Soul Revival, both badasses in their own rights. In the Whale delivers an in-your-face dose of driving alternative rock while Dirty Soul Revival gives you exactly what they claim to be – dirty Southern rock with so much soul, you might actually be inadvertently attending a revival. All of it is going to come together for one amazing night of music that I might have missed out on if it were not for iOnGreenville’s dedication to the local music scene.

This is just one of almost 100 shows happening across the Upstate between now and Sunday. Find a show that tickles your fancy as much as The Yawpers at The Radio Room does mine and get out and enjoy some live music.

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