Birds of Chicago

Agent: Lori Peters
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“Nero and Russell play folk-rock with impressionistic flourishes and gospel warmth, lent unexpected extravagance by Russell’s singing…”  —NPR

Birds of Chicago have been riding a swell of good mojo in the American world since their inception in late 2012. With their new album, Love in Wartime, they are set to both confirm that roots world buzz, and break on through to a wider audience across the world.

Recorded in Chicago against a backdrop of bewilderment, deep-divide and dread, Love in Wartime is a rock and roll suite with a cinematic sweep. Co-produced by Nero and Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), it evokes epic efforts of the 60’s and 70’s, with love as the undeniable throughline. As Russell puts it, “Any act of love is an act of bravery. These songs are snapshots of covenants, big and small, of trust and understanding. We want to give people some good news, and we want them to be able to dance when they hear it.”

When BOC released it’s last album, the Joe Henry produced Real Midnight, in 2016, critics scrambled to find the right terminology to describe the deep lyricism, gut-punch singing and fevered musicality. . . “Secular gospel” Was one phrase that caught some traction. That fervor is evident in Love in Wartime as well: “Roll Away the heavy stone/roll away the heavy hours/roll on in the summer mon/who’s alive who’s alive who’s alive?” The invitation is joyous, but urgant. . . call it “secular gospel,” or call it what they used to call poetry intoned over roots music mash-ups: rock n roll. The Birds consider themselves a rock and roll band first and foremost, and Love in Wartime doesn’t leave any doubt about that. 

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Built around the chemistry and fire between Allison Russell and JT Nero, the band has included a core band of empathetic assassins since it took to the road full time in 2013. Russell and Nero played with different bands in the mid-aughts (Po’ Girl and JT and the Clouds) before finding their way to each other. Nero found himself a transcendent vocal muse in Russell (a powerful writer in her own right) and the band honed its chops on the road, playing 200 shows a year between 2013-17. All that shaping and sharpening, oer so many miles, led them back to Chicago’s Electrical Audio in January of 2017, to begin recording. The first day in studio was inauguration day, and they didn’t need any more motivation than that to do what they came to do.

The Birds attract a mix of indy rockers, NPRists, jam-kids and folkies to their gigs, which alternate between moments of hushed attention and wild, rock and soul abandon. Says JT Nero, chief songwriter for the band, “A good show can send you back out into the night feeling–for at least a little while–that everything isn’t broken. . .Right now, we wanna dose out as much of that feeling as we can.” 

 

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Birds of Chicago Downloads:

Birds of Chicago on Tour:

Date City Location Venue

Fri, 21 Sep 2018

CHARLOTTESVILLE

VA

FRONT PORCH

Sat, 22 Sep 2018

BRISTOL

VA

BRISTOL RHYTHM & ROOTS REUNION

Sun, 23 Sep 2018

BRISTOL

VA

BRISTOL RHYTHM & ROOTS REUNION

Tue, 25 Sep 2018

NEW YORK

NY

CITY WINERY LOFT

Wed, 26 Sep 2018

BOSTON

MA

CITY WINERY BOSTON

Thu, 27 Sep 2018

BROWNFIELD

ME

STONE ARTS CENTER

Fri, 28 Sep 2018

CAMDEN

ME

CAMDEN OPERA HOUSE

Sun, 30 Sep 2018

EASTHAMPTON

MA

ARCADIA FOLK FESTIVAL

Fri, 5 Oct 2018

FREEHOLD

NJ

CONCERTS IN THE STUDIO

Sat, 6 Oct 2018

WOODSTOCK

NY

LEVON HELM STUDIOS

Sun, 7 Oct 2018

SARATOGA SPRINGS

NY

CAFFE LENA

Thu, 18 Oct 2018

DECATUR

GA

EDDIE'S ATTIC

Fri, 19 Oct 2018

ELKIN

NC

REEVES THEATRE

Sat, 20 Oct 2018

BLACK MOUNTAIN

NC

LEAF FESTIVAL

Sun, 21 Oct 2018

BLACK MOUNTAIN

NC

LEAF FESTIVAL

Fri, 26 Oct 2018

BOULDER

CO

E-TOWN MUSIC HALL

Sun, 28 Oct 2018

BOZEMAN

MT

THE RIALTO

Fri, 9 Nov 2018

SEYMOUR

IN

HAND PICKED HOUSE CONCERTS

Sat, 10 Nov 2018

MAUMEE

OH

THE VILLAGE IDIOT

Sat, 24 Nov 2018

SANTA CRUZ

CA

MOE'S ALLEY

Wed, 28 Nov 2018

SAINT YNEZ

CA

TALES FROM THE TAVERN

Thu, 29 Nov 2018

MORRO BAY

CA

THE SIREN

Fri, 30 Nov 2018

SANTA MONICA

CA

MCCABE'S GUITAR SHOP

Wed, 5 Dec 2018

EVANSTON

IL

SPACE

Fri, 7 Dec 2018

OSHKOSH

WI

THE HOWARD

Sat, 8 Dec 2018

RHINELEADER

WI

WXPR RADIO CONCERT SERIES