|Will Sheff: Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitar (1998 - present)|
|Will Graefe: Acoustic & Electric Guitar (2016 - present)|
|Benjamin Lazar Davis: Electric & Upright Bass (2016 - present)|
|Sarah Pedinotti: Keyboards, Harmonica, Background Vocals (2016 - present)|
|Cully Symington: Drums, Percussion (2010 - present)|
|Charles Bissell: Electric Guitar, Mandolin (2008 touring)|
|Scott Brackett: Coronet, Keyboards (2005 - 2010)|
|Brian Cassidy: Electric & Pedal Steel Guitar, Mandolin (2005 - 2008)|
|Howard Draper: Bass, Lap Steel Guitar, Keyboards (2004)|
|Lauren Gurgiolo: Electric Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Pedal Steel Guitar (2008 - 2014)|
|Chris Heinrich: Electric Guitar (2005 touring)|
|Jonathan Meiburg: Keyboards, Accordion, Banjo, Electric Guitar, Vocals (1999 - 2008 + guest appearances)|
|Travis Nelsen: Drums (2003 - 2010)|
|Mark Pedini: Drums (2000 - 2003)|
|Patrick Pestorius: Bass, Back-up Vocals (2005 - 2015)|
|Justin Sherburn: Keyboards, Accordion, Electric Guitar (2007 - 2015)|
|Michael St. Clair: Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Keyboards, Electric Guitar, Maracas (2011 - 2015)|
|Will Sheff: Vocals, Guitar (1998 - present)|
|Zachary Thomas: Bass, Mandolin (1998 - 2005)|
|Seth Warren : Drums (1998 - 2000)|
The story of the genesis of the band's name is well-known. According to Will in interviews, when the band was deliberating what to call themselves, he tossed out the name of the short story he was reading at the time - "Okkervil River" by Tatyana Tolstaya. It stuck. In the process, he also made a body of water in St. Petersburg, Russia relevant to a group of music fans (as well as revealing that many must have been staring out the window during a certain phonetics lesson in grade school).
The picture to the left is courtesy of a Google search. I chose this one a decade ago when creating this site because it reflected the imagery of the lyrics from the band's "Okkervil River Song." When I picture the river now, however, it is anything but silent. For me, it rages alive with sounds and the reminder of how some of life's random moments grant its most treasured gifts.
One cold day in November 2008, I stood in the middle of a foot bridge, clasping its wooden rail. While watching ducks below chirp up at me, pieces of Russian conversations drifted by me, having escaped from the bundled passers who rustled by on the path behind me. As I moved away from the feathered and feather-encased, I walked along Okkervil River for the first time, hearing only the crunching of snow under my shoes until I was deeper in the woods and stumbled upon a husband and wife celebrating their anniversary with a Saturday afternoon barbecue on the banks of Okkervil River. As we spiritedly toasted their marriage with vodka - lots and lots of vodka - they were amazed to learn that an American girl was sharing their day with them because of the name that an American songwriter had chosen for his band ten years prior. The line that dissected in two the field that filled the frame of their bedroom window now had new meaning for them too. On that day we also toasted to Okkervil River and all that had transpired to bring us together.
© Photo Credits