No River City
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No River City

Band Americana Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"No River City by Fred Mills"

When this Atlanta duo debuted earlier this year with the “Burn Down Our Own Home” single, I was instantly smitten, comparing (in MAGNET #59) NRC’s strummy, harmony-strewn sound to that of Alejandro Escovedo and Whiskeytown. The 45 was scant preparation, however, for the impact the new full-length bow wields. Let’s face it, folks can namedrop as many alt-country pioneers and icons they wish—in NRC’s case, Gram & Emmylou, Jayhawks, Richard Buckner, Ryan Adams and Escovedo clearly loom large as influences—but at the end of the day, it really boils down to: Does the musical act have memorable tunes, and does it bring something unique to the table? Here, on both counts, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” The lovely original “Fainter On My Tongue” finds Drew de Man against a backdrop of burnished guitars and co-vocalist Terri Kay Onstad’s lush cello lines, ruminating on a relationship that grew violent (“You kissed me with a left hook/Leave me standing like a scarecrow”) and went south. The tone of rueful regret in de Man’s voice is so convincing you can’t help but wonder if the tune’s painful to perform night after night. It’s a dark album, in fact (the title is instructive), made darker still by a cover of U2’s harrowing junkie portrait “Running To Stand Still.” It’s deceptively upbeat and twangy, with a buoyant de Man/Onstad vocal duet in the foreground and a sweet accordion figure running throughout. Yet the shock of recognition—at unexpectedly hearing a tune from the past so expertly overhauled as to suggest it was originally written with such a country-rock arrangement in mind—is what lends “RTSS” its power. In this instance, the cover bests the original. Like the telltale taste of a shot of dope on the back of your tongue just before the body rush hits, the song is delicious, erotically charged and absolutely terrifying - Magnet

"No River City by Andrew Aber"

They've been called "an indie folk band with a country soul and a Mexican
rock-n-roll guitar hand.” And they'd be right, a wonderful duo that through
harmonies, slick instrumental and great songwriting skills pull off
everything that's right about the new country genre that shuns cowboy hats
and beer guzzling for a roots return to true American folk music.

Andrew Aber, The Village Voice, NYC week of 7 May, 2003

- Village Voice

"No River City by Grant Britt"

* As No River City, guitarist-songwriter Drew de Man and his partner, cellist-keyboardist Terri Onstad play spooky, dangerous music. On the band's self-titled, three-song EP, two of the tales are about despair, desire and cold-blooded murder. Their latest, full-length release, This Is Our North Dakota, is more melancholy than murderous, but there's still little cause for celebration. "Knock-you-dead heartbreaker songs," is how de Man describes tunes such as "Fainter on My Tongue," "Running to Stand Still" and "Last Thing I Remember." There's a bounce to them, but you really couldn't dance to this music unless you could call hopping over the broken glass on the floor from where you chucked all your lovers' stuff through the window dancing. You could call it country-creeper-folk-music-to-leave-your-lover-by, but you'd be better off just tearing off the label and enjoying some well-crafted tunes from de Man who makes misery an art form.

Grant Britt, The Independent Weekly, Chapel Hill, NC week of 13 May, 2003
- Independent Weekly

"No River City"

* “No River City reminds me of a time when country music was really about suffering…. After listening to their recent release, This Is Our North Dakota, I hope they stick around for a long time.”
Shane Sullivan, Free Press, Bloomington, IN June 5 2003

- Free Press

"No River City"

* “…wields an uncommon, devastating power. This is an album…rife with emotional dynamics.”

Fred Mills, No Depression, January/February 2004
- No Depression

"No River City"

"Even a category as varied and elastic as Americana isn’t adequate to fully describe the music of ... No River City. "
December 5, 2003
Ron Wynn - Nashville City Paper


7" vinyl single: A--Burn Down Our Old Home B--In the Willow Garden (2002) *Six Little Shoes Records

full-length cd: This Is Our North Dakota (2003) *Six Little Shoes Records

National airplay as of 2003 on college, AAA and community radio; several stations' top 30 lists.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Partly acoustic, the songs are made to highlight the lyrics. Drums and electric guitars can rock out a club full of hipsters or a bar full of rednecks. De Man's voice has been likened to that of Mark Olson (Jayhawks), but that's purely accidental--his voice is an honest, unaffected southerner's with a knack for a melody and a bit of anxious muscle behind it. Three chords and the truth sometimes, but served well by a touch of minor-key complexity. De Man originally founded NRC in 2000. With longtime partner Terri Onstad, NRC toured as a duo all over the country from 2002 to 2004. Onstad left the band, but Drew has kept it moving with lineup changes. Influences and inspirations: The Stones, Peter Case, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, vintage and outlaw country, 60's R&B, Richard Buckner, Alejandro Escovedo, Calexico, Chuck Prophet. De Man's ongoing solo performances have been well-received.