Sky in the Road
Oregon, United States
Folk Rock / Contemporary Folk
Sky in the Road
If, on a typical showery day in Portland, Oregon, you should find yourself feeling low, eyes downcast, as you walk your neighborhood street, you may, if you're paying attention, just happen to catch a glimpse of the sky reflected in one of the many rain puddles at your feet. You might even discover a bit of sun shining back, rippling in this watery frame outlining the damp purple-gray cumulus above. Drawn into this expanding scene you suddenly become aware of the wider world of possibility all around you and that feeling of gloom begins to evaporate like the morning drizzle.
This is part of the phenomenon known as Sky in the Road…
You could say it was love at first note. When Sky in the Road founding members Daniel Rhiger and Rahmana Wiest, both singers and musicians since childhood, met they were providing back-up vocals and instrumentation for renowned singer/songwriter and environmental activist Cecilia Ostrow. It quickly became apparent that there was magic in this "harmonic convergence" and Dan and Rah, as they are known by their friends, soon became musical partners and eventually life partners.
In the early nineties they gigged around the Northwest with their band The Big Picture, plying their brand of world-music inflected folk-rock at festivals and clubs, large and small. It was during this time that Dan Rhiger received two runner-up awards in Billboard Magazine's 1991 National Songwriting Contest. The two songs honored, "Skyward Dancer" and "The Rediscovery of Fire", were featured on The Big Picture's self-titled EP along with four other original tunes including two of Rahmana's compositions.
By 1995 they had moved on from The Big Picture and were performing as a duo under their current name of Sky in the Road. They released their first full-length CD by that same name. They have toured the West coast from Monterey to Vancouver, B.C. and east to New York, Chicago, St Louis and Denver playing intimate coffee houses, 1000 seat auditoriums and everything in between. The song "Out Beyond" from that album, with it's Rumi inspired lyrics and Celtic melody chorus, has become an anthem of hope and transcendence for thousands of fans across the country.
By the end of the decade they had teamed up with songwriter and virtuoso guitarist Dean Warner. At that time Dean was mastering his latest instrument of choice, the mandolin. With the addition of Dean they began to weave their trademark three-part harmonies into an expansive list of original songs and a growing repertoire of carefully selected cover tunes. Dean had achieved local Portland fame back in the seventies as lead guitarist for the very popular cover band Airborne. As a life-long student of the guitar and popular music Dean has brought a fine sense of attention-to-detail and an instrumental finesse to the mix.
In the last five years Sky in the Road has been featured twice on the nationally syndicated radio show River City Folk. They have been heard at numerous concert halls, conferences, coffee houses and festivals including Seattle Folk Life, Portland's Winterfolk, Rose Festival, Artquake, The Bite, Earth Day/Procession of the Species, The Yakima Folklife Festival, the Mile High Church of Religious Science in Denver and many more. They have shared the stage with performers as diverse as Peter Yarrow, Utah Phillips, Betsy Rose, Tom May, Tracy Grammer and Susan Osborn.
Daniel Rhiger; vocals, 6 and 12 string guitar, Irish bouzouki, penny whistle, keyboards
Dean Warner; vocals, guitar, mandolin, lap steel, bodhran
Rahmana Wiest; vocals, harmonium, percussion, harmonica
1. "Out of Rocky Soil", 2008 (Give Rise Records)
2. "Where Everything Is Music", 2004 (Give Rise Records)
3. "Tahonetlaclah, Mountain of Fire", 2003 (Give Rise Records)
4. "Sky in the Road", 1996 (Give Rise Records)
5. "BuddhaLeg", 1992 (Big Picture Music)
6. "The Big Picture", 1991 (Big Picture Music)
7. "The Gift", 1988 (Medicine Whistle)