Okkervil River to Return to their Upper Valley Roots

When the indie-rock band Okkervil River performs next month in special outdoor benefit concert for UVLT and Enfield’s non-profit Whaleback Mountain, it will be a homecoming.

Lead singer Will Shett grew up in Meriden, NH, as did his original bandmates,  classmates in the 1990s at Kimball Union Academy. Today, Will lives in Los Angeles when he isn’t touring with Okkervil River. Over the course of nine albums, the band has been praised by The New York Times, NPR, Uncut, and Pitchfork, who declared Will “one of indie rock’s most ambitious thinkers.” The band has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien and made fans from Lou Reed to Barack Obama.  While the band’s lineups have changed with time, its acclaimed songwriting and positive reception from critics have stayed consistent.

The benefit took shape when Trevor McGraw, who is involved with Whaleback, invited Will to perform and suggested that he could select a charity that would split the concert proceeds with the ski area.

“Trevor and I are both from Meriden and great lovers of the forests and trails there, so we agreed UVLT was the natural fit for this benefit,” says Will.

The benefit concert, to be held outdoors at Whaleback on August 23, will be special, says Sheff.

“We are doing the first show in two decades with the original lineup, who are all Meriden folks,” he explains. “I think is is going to be a really fun time. Frankly, it’s a great excuse for me to visit my favorite place on earth with my dear old friends and to raise money for two organizations I believe in, and I’m happy to do it.”

Tickets available online.