“With echoes of deep gospel in Russell’s voice as she sings over a mix of electric guitar, resonant piano, and percussion… at once uplifting and a little melancholy.” —Wall Street Journal
8:00 PM—The Oxford American magazine is excited to welcome Birds of Chicago to South on Main, with special guest Smokey & The Mirror! This is the fourth and final show in their 2017-18 Archetypes & Troubadours Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. The series is made possible in part by presenting sponsors Chris Harkins of Raymond James and J. Mark & Christy Davis.
Additional season partners include UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, Acura, Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Stacy Hamilton of Pulaski Heights Realty, Ben E. Keith Foods Mid-South Division, Arkansas Arts Council, ACANSA Arts Festival, Capital Hotel, Rosen Music Company, and Piano Kraft.
Tickets are available via Metrotix.com (or by calling 800-293-5949), and are $25 (General Admission), $32 (Reserved), and $34 (Premium Reserved). Please take a look at this very important ticketing and seating information before purchasing your tickets (view reserved seating chart). Full season ticket pricing and options are also available in a consolidated format, here.
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.
On Real Midnight, Birds of Chicago alternate moody rock swagger with the ghostliest of soundscapes. Produced by Joe Henry, a man whose expert blending of light and shadow is well known, the album is a melancholy—but never shoe gazing—suite, full of wayward, joyful, lonesome voices raised up against the night.
Since its February release, Real Midnight has received press from NPR (First Listen, Weekend Edition, and World Café), Wall Street Journal, Paste, No Depression, Afropunk, and more.
Music this raw and soul-rich demands to be experienced live; Birds of Chicago have developed a fervent following, touring 200 nights a year since their formation in late 2012, and 2016 has already found the band in constant motion—from sea to sea and beyond.