Birds of Chicago
Rock and Roll in the old sense of the word....blues, country, gospel and folk...sunlit, dappled in shadows....poetry you can dance to and poetry you can play really loud.
In so many ways, we are a word weary culture, ever searching for ways to communicate in fewer and fewer words, letters, syllables...Our online, blogged out, you-tubed attention spans are truncated and fragmented like never before. Birds of Chicago, the collective centered around Allison Russell and JT Nero, reassert the simple notion - radical in these times - that beautiful words and music can still tap deep veins of emotion.
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 new Joe Henry produced album, throbs with an urgency that feels quietly seismic.
Birds of Chicago was born in 2012 when Nero began 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. Nero had found the perfect voice for his rock and roll psalms. Russell moved from being a primary songwriter to an interpreter, and her simmering restraint is deeply refreshing to a landscape scorched by post Voice/American Idol vocal gymnastics and over-emoting.
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.
NPR chose Birds of Chicago's latest album for their "First Listen" feature and also reviewed it here.
We also welcome The DuPont Brothers to the stage to get the evening started. Two brothers living on the indie circuit, driving around sharing their stories through songwriting. That’s life for Sam & Zack DuPont. Based out of Burlington, VT the sibling indie-folk-rock duo has kept busy on the road since 2013. Their two studio releases, Heavy as Lead (2015) & A Riddle For You (2016) & two live albums, Live at Beehive (2016) & Live at Deepwells (2017), have taken them all over the Northeast, Mid Atlantic, South and Midwest. The DuPont Brothers have made festival appearances at Grand Point North & SXSW & have supported a wide array of national acts of all shapes, sizes & genres including Kishi Bashi, Johnnyswim, The Lone Bellow, Gin Wigmore, Langhorne Slim, Joseph, Livingston Taylor, Bahamas, Ben Sollee & Patrick Watson along with grammy award winning artists, Sturgill Simpson, Jerry Douglas, Blake Mills, Suzanne Vega & Pat Benatar.
Zack and Sam were just chosen as the Best Folk Artist or Group in Vermont.
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