BIRDS OF CHICAGO launch the inaugural concert in the Deer Lake After Dark series at the Shadbolt on November 16. BofC have been riding a swell of good mojo in the Americana music scene since the duo’s inception in late 2012. With their latest full album, Love in Wartime, they are set to both confirm that roots world buzz, and break through to a wider audience. Currently and until early November, they’re on a 13-shows-in-14-days tour as a trio with Steve Dawson in the UK. With many wildly enthusiastic fans in the Lower Mainland, they land with their band at Burnaby’s Shadbolt Centre for a great night of music.
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 with Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), it evokes the epic efforts of the 60’s and 70’s, with love as the undeniable through-line.
Built around the chemistry and fire between Allison Russell and JT Nero, and their rock-steady band, BOC tours hard. Russell and Nero played with different bands in the mid-aughts (BC’s own Po’ Girl (Russell) and JT and the Clouds) before finding their way to each other. Nero, who writes the bulk of the songs, found himself a transcendent vocal muse in Russell (a powerful writer herself) and the band honed its chops on the road playing 200 shows a year between 2013-17. All that shaping and sharpening, over so many miles, led them back to Chicago’s Electrical Audio in January 2017 to begin recording Love in Wartime.
Their most recent releases include 2016's Joe Henry-produced Real Midnight and 2017's EP American Flowers, BOC's debut from the label Signature Sounds Recordings. Critics have searched for the right words to describe Real Midnight’s deep lyricism, gut-punch singing and musicality…. “Secular gospel” was one phrase that found some traction.
The invitation is joyous, but urgent. There’s another phrase that they used to describe 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. Birds’ shows attract a mix of indy rockers, jam-kids and Americana/roots lovers, mixing moments of hushed attention with wild, rock and soul abandon. These days, that’s no small thing.
Saturday, November 16, 8pm
Shadbolt Centre for the Arts (James Cowan Theatre)
6450 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby
(Subscription pricing is available by calling the box office)
Join DARPAN Magazine community on socialmedia!