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Local Musician Spotlight: 4th River Music Collective

Johanna C.

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I’m sure that if you have been to any outdoor event in Pittsburgh, especially events that draw a lot of people such as the Arts Festival, you have seen them. Groups ranging from two to as large as ten people all harmonizing and playing music, generally having a good time. Most of them are rather forgettable, easy to ignore — their open guitar cases are often empty, save for a lone dollar and maybe a few pennies. More of rhythmic background noise than a real band. There is one exception to that stereotype that I have seen — a rather large group of musicians that call themselves The 4th River Music Collective.
The information that exists on this group is rather limited, hidden behind Facebook pages and other websites blocked by the school’s firewall. What I know about them is that they are a local music act, with almost all members either native to or currently living in Pittsburgh. Their dynamic could easily be compared to the tight-knit family togetherness that embodies other large groups (namely Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.) This familial feeling translates easily into their music, which sits on a spectrum ranging from folk to punk, and in their live performances, which happen anywhere and everywhere. These spontaneous “busking” shows can last around 3 hours and provide the band with the money that they need to sleep/eat/buy gas to travel to their next destination. Although they may not be rolling in dough, they truly love what they do and love traveling across the country for their music. They embody the folk spirit of America that was seemingly crushed a number of years ago, and I believe that is beautiful.

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Local Musician Spotlight: 4th River Music Collective