Birds of Chicago
Allison Russell's clarion voice wraps around the broken country-soul croon of JT Nero, delivering their tales of hope, despair and… seahorses. Echoes of mountain gospel, doo wop, and classic soul, with back porch instrumentation.
Birds of Chicago is a collective based around JT Nero and Allison Russell. Whether touring as duo or with the full family band, Nero and Russell have emerged as two of the most compelling new voices in North American Roots music.
For several years Russell and Nero’s respective bands, Po’ Girl (Vancouver, BC) and JT and the Clouds (Chicago, IL), have collaborated extensively, but in 2011’s Mountains/Forests, released under the JT Nero banner, they tapped into the true, bewitching power of their voices together on an entire record. It also featured the full cast of characters that would round out the Birds of Chicago ensemble — the Clouds and Michelle McGrath, the luminous singer and picker from the hidden hills of Southeast Ohio.
Nero’s fractured country-soul voice wrapped in Russell’s silver and gold tones is a fine thing. Not too perfect, not at all saccharine, you’ll hear echoes of mountain gospel, street corner doo-wop, classic soul. Accompanied by just a banjo and a guitar, it’s chilling. Fired by a full band, it’s a full tilt revival.
1. Sugar Dumpling
2. Sans Souci
4. Flying Dreams
6. Till It's Gone