Lately, our Artists of the Week have taken a turn for the acoustic, and this may change soon. But this week's featured artist is the super-strummy, slightly-weepy Chris Riffle, armed with his six-string and a host of rather obvious influences like Elliott Smith and Conor Oberst-- the original teary-eyed indie singer-songwriters. But Riffle is redeemed by his unimposing voice; while a bit emotional, he's never in-your-face or very demanding with his emotional phrasing. His lyrics, on the other hand, are quite sensitive and simple with lines like "It don't matter if I want you back, I always want what's bad for me." He has more in common with Nick Drake's sparse style than Oberst's dense lyric sheets.
Best of all, Riffle's website hosts a lovely, modernized rendition of Donovan Leitch's "Catch the Wind," adding to it some percussive flourishes, enhanced by Riffle's gentle, unimposing voice.
Catch him before he's a big deal-- he's not even on YouTube yet. Seriously.