Ancient River

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Ancient River
OriginGainesville, Florida, United States
GenresPsychedelic rock
Years active2008 (2008)-present
  • Summer Moon
  • Music Excavation
  • James Barreto
  • Alexis Cordova Jnr
Past members
  • Zachary Veltheim
  • Chad Voight

Ancient River is a psychedelic rock band formed in 2008. The band was created by singer/songwriter James Barreto, and features Barreto (vocals/guitar/songwriter) and Alexis Cordova Jr. (drums/vocals).[1]

Formed in 2008, with friends and now past members Zachary Veltheim on bass (from Barreto's previous band The Ohm)[2] and Chad Voight on drums.[3]

The band name was taken from the Neil Young song "Thrasher": “Where the eagle glides ascending/There’s an ancient river bending/Down the timeless gorge of changes/Where sleeplessness awaits.”[2][3][4]

In reviewing 2011's Songs from North America, the Knoxville Mercury described Ancient River's music as reminiscent of "the sun-baked desert twang of the Meat Puppets and Crazy Horse."[4]

Cordova and Barreto met when Cordova moved to Gainesville to join another band. In the Mercury interview, Cordova is quoted as saying, "when I found out about [Ancient River], if I hadn’t joined, they probably would have been my favorite band in Gainesville. I kind of feel like it was the right time, right place."[4] Cordova now plays drums in the band, which was his first instrument growing up.[2]

The band's origins can be traced back the music scene in Gainesville, Florida[5] and its thriving home grown DIY scene. Barreto, who had trained as an audio engineer, had a home studio and was busy recording local musicians.[2]

Ancient River made their debut at Austin Psych Festival on April 24, 2010.[3][6] Cordova joined the line up in 2011 and the band began regularly playing the live circuit, playing Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia[7][8][9][10] and Austin Psych Festival for a second time in 2012.[11] Appearances at Los Angeles’ Psycho De Mayo[12][13] and Desert Stars Festival Pre-Party[14] followed in 2014 along with Milwaukee Psych Fest in 2015.[15]

In 2013 their track 'Waiting For The Light' was featured on British television series Hollyoaks Later in the United Kingdom [16]

Currently Barreto is living in London and Cordova is based in Austin, Texas but this distance hasn't impacted their productivity.[4] Ancient River have eight releases. Keeper of the Dawn released in April 14, 2015 was inspired by the Italian horror films of writer/director Dario Argento together with one of the duo's favourite musicians, David Axelrod.[17][18] Following its release, the band toured North America for 51 shows.[1]

In June 2015, Ancient River joined forces with London director, writer and actor Xevi Soler to produce a music video for their track Stay With Me. This was the soundtrack to Soler's short film Golem.[18]

NME featured Ancient River in their "Under the Radar" section on July 18, 2015.


  • 2017 O.D.D.S 2 (LP)
  • 2017 The Keeper Never Sleeps (EP)
  • 2015 Keeper Of The Dawn (LP)
  • 2014 Before Dawn (LP)
  • 2012 On The Other Side (LP)
  • 2012 Let It Live (LP)
  • 2011 Polaroid (EP)
  • 2011 Songs from North America (LP)
  • 2010 O.D.D.S. (LP)
  • 2010 Under the Sun (EP)


  1. ^ a b "Ancient River decides 'This Is the Time'". Spin Magazine. April 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Breznikar, Klemen (28 November 2013). "Ancient River: Inverview with James Barreto". Psychedelic Baby Magazine.
  3. ^ a b c Muldoon, Ryan (6 April 2010). "Question 4". Revolt Of The Apes.
  4. ^ a b c d Everett, Matthew (3 June 2015). "Ancient River explores the psychedelic frontier". Knoxville Mercury.
  5. ^ Lima, Dante (3 February 2011). "Ancient River releases new album, Indigo Girls return". Gainesville Sun.
  6. ^ "Austin Psych Festival 2010 Lineup". Archived from the original on 2015-07-03. Retrieved 2015-07-21.
  7. ^ "Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia".
  8. ^ "Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia Lineup and Poster".
  9. ^ "Psychedelia Festival: Review". Mudkiss.
  10. ^ "Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia". The Quietus.
  11. ^ "2012 Lineup". Austin Psych Festival. Archived from the original on 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2015-07-21.
  12. ^ "Psycho De Mayo with Pentagram, Dead Meadow, Kadavar, Saint Vitus, The Shrine". The Observatory. Archived from the original on 14 August 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Guide to Psycho De Mayo 2014". Rabbits Black.
  14. ^ "Desert Stars Pre-Party". Time Out.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Psychedelic Baby Blog
  16. ^ "Hollyoaks Later 2013 - Episode 2 - video dailymotion". Dailymotion.
  17. ^ "Week in Pop". Impose. 17 April 2015.
  18. ^ a b Begrand, Adrien (24 June 2015). "Ancient River - "Stay With Me" (video) (premiere)". popMATTERS. Retrieved 5 August 2015.

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