The guys from White Reaper just want to rock

White Reaper perform in The Current studio
White Reaper perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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White Reaper perform in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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| 16:46
  • White Reaper perform in The Current studio (full session + interview) 16:46
  • White Reaper - Judy French (Live on The Current) 03:24
  • White Reaper - The World's Best American Band (Live on The Current) 04:28
  • White Reaper - The Stack (Live on The Current) 02:54

One of them shares the name with an NHL goaltending great; another shares nomenclature with the definitive gonzo journalist. But that stuff is pure coincidence and really doesn't matter to the members of the band White Reaper. These guys just want to rock.

"There's always going to be a place for rock 'n' roll," says guitarist Hunter Thompson.

Founded in Louisville, Ky., many of the band members have been friends for most of their lives. Singer and guitarist Tony Esposito met bandmate Ryan Hater when the two were in second grade.

Now this five-piece band of buddies — Thompson and Esposito, along with keyboardist Hater, and the twin-brother rhythm section of bassist Sam Wilkerson and drummer Nick Wilkerson — are on tour supporting their latest album, The World's Best American Band. In town for a show at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, White Reaper stopped at The Current for an in-studio session hosted by Bill DeVille.

The album title may very well be aspirational. Asked about their influences, the members of White Reaper cite Tom Petty, Bob Seeger and Joe Walsh. "Guys that just want to make songs and play songs," Thompson says. "That's what we want to do."

"I'd like to keep doing this until my fingers fall off," Esposito adds.

Use the audio player above to hear the complete, classic-rock inspired session with White Reaper.

Songs Performed


"Judy French"
"The World's Best American Band"
"The Stack"
All songs from White Reaper's 2017 album, The World's Best American Band, available on Polyvinyl Records.

Hosted by Bill DeVille
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Luke Taylor

Resources


White Reaper - official site

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10 Photos

  • White Reaper perform in The Current studio
    White Reaper perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • White Reaper perform in The Current studio
    Nick Wilkerson of White Reaper performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • White Reaper perform in The Current studio
    White Reaper perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • White Reaper perform in The Current studio
    White Reaper perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • White Reaper perform in The Current studio
    Tony Esposito of White Reaper performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • White Reaper perform in The Current studio
    Hunter Thompson of White Reaper performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • White Reaper perform in The Current studio
    White Reaper perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • White Reaper perform in The Current studio
    Hunter Thompson of White Reaper performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • White Reaper perform in The Current studio
    Ryan Hater of White Reaper performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • White Reaper perform in The Current studio
    Sam Wilkerson of White Reaper in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)

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