"'The River Monks might just be Iowa. The five-part vocal harmonies swirl outward like wind across the fields, while the band’s traditional folk instrumentation is given Iowa’s unexpectedly progressive touch, leaving you with something entirely recognizable, yet completely new.' – Tiny Mix Tapes
"The River Monks have been called 'wistfully harmonious' and 'mega-folk', descriptive of their multi-layered harmonies and the blend of traditional folk instrumentation with a modern, broad, lush perspective. Creating huge scapes of airy atmosphere and complex, diverse rhythm, and in the same breath hushing audiences with whispered dynamics, The River Monks deliver a polished brand of melody and texture, sure to please fans of Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes, Simon & Garfunkel, and The Beach Boys.
"The band formed in Des Moines, IA - its members now reside all over the States. The band took its name from its hometown's history: French settlers discovered a river of fish-trapping monks and named it 'La Rivière des Moines' or 'The River of the Monks'. The town and eventual Capitol city that formed around that river became Des Moines.
"The group formed in 2010 by Ryan Stier, Nicholas Frampton, and Joel Gettys, and at once began recording their debut album "Jovials" - eventually released in March 2011. Since, the midwesterners have added three members (Drew Rauch, Mallory Heggen, and Tommy Boynton), traveled to both coasts and much of the in-between, opened for acts like The Lumineers, S. Carey, William Elliott Whitmore, and Gin Blossoms, along with performances at festivals like 80/35, Max Ames Festival, Gross Domestic Product, VEISHEA, and Nebraska Pop Festival."
- from their Facebook page
Drew Rauch - bass, lead backup vocals
Ryan Stier - lead vocals, guitar, banjo
Joel Gettys - drums, auxiliary percussion, glockenspiel, vocals
Nick Frampton - guitar, vocals, percussion, ukulele
Tommy Boynton - banjo, ukulele, percussion, guitar, vocals
Mallory Heggen - trumpet, percussion, accordion, vocals