White Rhino
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White Rhino

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, United States

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, United States
Band Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"White Rhino are Simply Amazing"

Sometimes, what starts out as a disappointment turns out to be a blessing in disguise.

That was the case in January when, after not being able to attend the Jerry Lee Lewis concert at the Charleston Music Hall, I happened to catch a set by yet another truly talented local band.

White Rhino has been doing things its own way since forming via a Craig's List Internet ad late last year. Local singer-guitarist Aaron Levy, formerly of The Library Fire, placed the ad hoping to attract some like-minded musicians. Apparently the ad worked, because before long Levy had assembled singer-violinist Katie Coleman, bassist Manny Hagman, drummer Daniel Crider and pianist Ben Jacobs.

I caught the band that January evening at the Windjammer, and was impressed by the mix of Americana and more traditional rock 'n' roll. At that point, the band had been playing together less than four months, and while White Rhino was still a little rough around the edges, one could see the potential.

Fast forward to more than half-a-year later, and a couple of great things have occurred concerning White Rhino. First, the original lineup had stayed intact, which tells me that in an industry where musicians trade places in bands at the drop of a hat, these folks enjoy performing with one another. Second is the fact that the previously mentioned rough edges have been smoothed out considerably. Saturday night at Home Team BBQ in West Ashley White Rhino performed two sets of covers and originals to an unfortunately small crowd, and yet the members of White Rhino performed as if the place was packed.

The covers were done purposefully different from the original versions, but not so much that it appeared that the musicians were showboating. While White Rhino's takes on The Band's "The Weight" and Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" were great, the band's cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson," which featured a nice little acoustic breakdown in the middle, particularly entertained me.

As for the original music, well, that is really what White Rhino is about. The best way I can think to describe the bands sound is to say that if Martin Scorsese decided to direct a film about Southern mobsters in Charleston, White Rhino would be the blue-collar rock band playing in the beer joint where the good ol' wiseguys congregated. Opening ambitiously with "And When the Sky was Opened" and continuing with "January," Levy and the rest of the band hit their stride early. "Papa George" was next. That tune was a holdout from Levy's Library Fire days, and with good reason. The catchy "Ooh-ah-ooh" chorus stick in your head, but not at all annoyingly.

"The Weight" was sandwiched between "I Miss the Way I Used to Feel" and "Home Soon," two songs that are available on a three song E.P. the band is selling at shows.

The melancholy "Home Soon" is particularly pretty, with its folksy melody sung by Levy. Another standout in the first set was "Butcher's Daughter." Coleman and Jacobs did a great job harmonizing with Levy on most songs, and the good sport award of the night had to go to Hagman, who ended up playing his bass off to the side of Home Team's tiny stage due to space limitations. I thought for a minute that were going to have him check IDs between songs as he lurked by the restaurant's back door.

Unfortunately for White Rhino, after the short break it seemed that the sparse yet appreciative audience had all but dried up.

The few folks that remained definitely received a musical treat as the band performed originals that included "Don't Need No Other," "Tell Me a Lie," "The Rules," and "Shiva at Whistle Creek."

Finally, after closing the second set with "Repeat," it was clear that it was time to pack it in.

White Rhino deserves to be recognized for playing to a few of us as if the small room at Home Team BBQ was full.

The refusal to let the size of the crowd dictate your onstage demeanor is the sign of a true class act.

Definitely check out White Rhino the next time you hear of the band playing live locally. Aaron Levy and company are definitely worth more than just a mere listen.
- Charleston, SC Post and Courier

"White Rhino highlights of festival"

Highlights in the evening included the twangy and skillful Americana/pop band White Rhino, led by singer Aaron Levy, with pedal steel player Charlie Thompson. - Charleston City Paper


Home Soon EP - 2008
Currently receiving spins on weareradio.com



White Rhino came together in early 2007. Daniel had just moved to town from Berklee by way of Nashville and began teaching drums in the room next door to the studio where Aaron was teaching guitar and writing tons of songs. Katie responded to an ad for a harmony vocalist and as it turned out she played a mean violin as well. Ben was also new to town and despite (or perhaps because of) his use of the word "alas" in response to an ad for a multi-instrumentalist he fit in immediately. The rest is the history we're currently living.