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Birds of Chicago
From the Promoter
American Flowers, the revelatory Signature Sounds debut from acclaimed husband and wife led band, Birds of Chicago, was released in 2017. Known for their "near perfect Americana" (No Depression), JT Nero and Allison Russell had recently finished recording their sprawling rock and roll circus of an album, Love in Wartime, co-produced by Luther Dickinson ( North Mississippi All Stars). Nero had a suite of six songs that didn’t feel quite at home on Love in Wartime. Having recently relocated to Nashville, they decided to throw themselves their own welcome to town party by recording an acoustic E.P. at Steve Dawson’s Henhouse Studio. New friends like Kenneth Pattengale of The Milk Carton Kids, and Maya de Vitry of The Stray Birds got in on the fun, and the Birds emerged after a couple days with the raw, spontaneous, and warm American Flowers. The E.P. is Love in Wartime’s cousin from the country, and it rounds out Birds of Chicago’s offering of healing, communion and celebration of life in a dark and troubled time.
Birds of Chicago began in 2012 when Nero started writing for his vocal star-muse, Russell. Both were accomplished singer/songwriters with projects of their own, Nero with JT and the Clouds and Russell with the acclaimed Canadian roots outfit Po’ Girl, but together there was an unmistakable chemistry. Across border band was born.
Stark, elemental imagery that feels like scripture, or a lost folk song recovered; the Birds draw heavily on the gospel tradition and the music feels like a new, secular gospel of sorts. For Birds of Chicago, every word counts. Every note counts. No gold-dusting, no filler. Music is the good news and Real Midnight, the band’s poignant 2016 Joe Henry produced album, throbbed with an urgency that felt quietly seismic.
Music this raw and soul-rich demands to be experienced live, and Birds of Chicago have developed a fervent following, touring 200 nights a year since their formation in late 2012. For these Birds, singing for a room full of new people, hearts wide open, keeps off the cold and chases off the shadows. In 2018 the Birds will be bringing American Flowers and Love in Wartime to a town near you. Rock and Roll will save our souls. Or, it’s got as good a chance as anything.