© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

Rock & Roll Rewind: Birds of Chicago

cd remembers the first time seeing Allison Russell's early band which featured her husband.

c d kaplan is a rock & roll lifer. He’s got stories. Lots of stories. Here’s another.

There are many wondrous happenstances that can come when
going to a concert.

The Clifton Center was the site in 2014 of my favorite unknown discovery ever.

The blessing of a previously unknown act that rings my chimes to this day.

Opening for the Carolina Chocolate Drops was Birds of Chicago.

The Film Babe and sat there mesmerized, smitten from the get go.

The band formed in 2012, and was essentially the wife and husband duo
Allison Russell -- yes, the current rage as a solo -- and JT Nero, with a
revolving band of supporting musicians.

Nero a/k/a Jeremy Lindsay wrote most of the tunes on their eponymously
titled first album. Most often sweet. Occasionally obtuse. Thought
provoking, as in "Old Calcutta."

Oh I say rock and roll is dead and in its grave/ but you said what about the
baby being threatened by a viper/ who slipped in a window in old Calcutta/SOS San Nicola mayday na-na-na-na-na-na-namaste

His is a sonorous voice. When paired with the lovely and beguiling stylings
of Russell, the harmonies morph entrancing. How their voices meld joyous.

Such that you immediately wonder: Why isn't this group really famous,
headlining major venues?

Which are not only the thoughts of those of us under their spell, but of
major players in the industry.

Like Joe Henry, whose credits include producing Emmylou Harris, Solomon
Burke, Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello among others, who directed
their next album, "Real Midnight."

The band, like many, didn't survive the cultural ravages of COVID.

But Russell's solo career is in flight. She's gaining popularity with her
"secular gospel." When I saw her last spring, her hubby came out for one

She's great, make no mistake, but my oh my how I miss Birds of Chicago.

Fortunately I've got their albums. And there's always the streaming thing.

Their tunes more often than not, like just now as I write, get me on my feet to swing and sway with a smile as wide as sunrise.

I wish you flying dreams/ I wish you flying dreams/ I wish you flying dreams/I wish you flying dreams/

Observer of the Passing Scene: Pop Culture and Sports. Writer. Film Critic. Curmudgeon. Rock & Roll and Louisville Cardinal fan.

Can we count on your support?

Louisville Public Media depends on donations from members – generous people like you – for the majority of our funding. You can help make the next story possible with a donation of $10 or $20. We'll put your gift to work providing news and music for our diverse community.