On their second album Our Lady of the Tall Trees the Seattle based bluegrass pairing of Cahalen Morrison (guitar, banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, lap slide, vocals) and Eli West (guitar, banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, vocals) were more than impressive creating an album of contemporary bluegrass music that was much revered by their peers and the press, their latest album more than lives up to their growing reputation and finds the pair on top form creating another top quality album.
Produced by Grammy-winning artist Tim O’Brien the album was in the Colorado Rockies at the Swingfingers Recording Studio and features supporting players including Ryan Drickey and Brittany Haas on fiddle and Erin Youngberg on bass with Tim O’Brien adding his not inconsiderable talents on mandolin and bouzouki too, together they’ve created an album that’s subtlety more uplifting than it’s predecessor; American roots music that manages to deftly combine acoustic bluegrass and Appalachian folk with both authenticity and originality.
Down In The Lonesome Draw
Livin’ In America
With an upcoming tour planned for Ireland and the UK there’s a great chance to go and see these guys in their element kicking of in Essex at the end of April there’s a local date at The Walker Theatre (Theatre Severn) in Shrewsbury on May 3rd.
Wed Apr 30: The Garret Sessions at Queens Head, Fyfield, Essex
Thur May 1: The Green Note, London
Fri May 2: The Workhouse, Presteigne, Powys, Mid Wales
Sat May 3: The Walker Theatre (Theatre Severn), Shrewsbury
Sun May 4: The Cross Inn, Haverfordwest, Pembs
Tues May 6: Red Rooms, Cookstown
Wed May 7: Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, Co Donegal
Thur May 8: Whelan’s, Dublin
Fri May 9: Baltimore Fiddle Fair, Co Cork, Ireland
Sun May 11: Jumpin Hot Club, The Cluny, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Mon May 12: FREE
Tues May 13: House concert, Edinburgh
Wed May 14: House concert, Edinburgh
Thur May 15: Acoustic Music Club, Kirkcaldy
Fri May 16: Glenbuchat Village Hall, Aberdeenshire
Sat May 17: The CatStrand, New Galloway
Sun May 18: The Barrels Alehouse, Berwick-upon-Tweed
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Have featured Birds of Chicago and the bands central players JT Nero and Allison Russell several times on Beat Surrender, they have toured extensively over the last few years with a collaborative band of musicians in support of their eponymous 2012 release and solo recordings, amongst the tour stops the band played at Chicago’s Space City in June of last year with a full band – Christopher Merrill (bass), Drew Lindsay (piano / accordion / vocals), Dan Abu-Absi (electric guitar / mandolin / vocals), Chris Neal (organ), Nick Chmabers (drums), JT Nero (vocals / guitar) and Allison Russell (vocals / clarinet / banjo / ukulele / guitar) – the whole show was recorded for posterity and is now available on CD and download.
The seventeen track album perfectly captures the essence of the band and the outstanding vocal talents of JT and Allison who’s music encapsulates the full spectrum of the ‘Americana’ genre, if you’d like to get a first hand experience then Birds of Chicago are touring as a four piece band in the UK and Ireland during April and May, Allison and JT wil be joined by Joe Faulhaber (guitar) & Will Waghorn (drums, percussion) for the dates – there maybe an extra member of the band with them too as the couple welcomed their first child, Ida Maeve Robertson Lindsay, into the world on Dec 30th last year and if the vocal genes are passed on that girl is going to have one hell of voice in the years to come.
Birds of Chicago – Trampoline
Birds of Chicago ∙ UK & Ireland Tour ∙ April-May 2014
APRIL – UK
Thurs 24 Portsmouth The Square Tower
Fri 25 Whitstable The Royal Native Oyster Stores
Sat 26 Lewes The Elephant & Castle
Sun 27 Birmingham The Kitchen Garden Café
Tues 29 Hempstead, nr. Saffron Walden The Bluebell Inn
Weds 30 London Green Note
MAY – Ireland & N. Ireland
Fri 2 Dundalk Vantastival
Sat 3 Enniskillen Ardhowen Theatre
Mon 5 Dingle, Co. Kerry McCarthy’s Bar, Féile na Bealtaine Music & Arts Festival
Thurs 8 Clonmel, Co. Tipperary Raheen House Hotel
Fri 9 Galway Monroe’s co-headline with Liam Ó Maonlaí
Sat 10 Ballybofey, Co. Donegal Balor Arts Centre
Sun 11 Dublin Whelan’s
Mon 12 Ballymore Eustace Mick Murphy’s
Tues 13 Kildare Cunningham’s
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Now entering its 17th year, Kilkenny’s Roots Festival brings together the cream of the world’s roots scene for a weekend of live music, drinking and general festivity on the banks of the river Nore. Held over the bank holiday weekend of 2nd – 5th of May this year’s line-up is as strong as ever including garage soul legend Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, former X head honcho and US punk godfather John Doe, the supremely talented Crooked Still frontwoman Aoife O’Donovan and the UK’s best loved country band My Darling Clementine.
All forms of what we like to call Americana are well represented over the four days. From midday to midnight audiences wind their way through the medieval streets sampling the huge range of music in the 30 plus venues, hosting over 30 acts from Ireland, USA, Canada, UK and Sweden, with over 80 ticketed and free shows.
There’s a mixture of old and new acts on the free pub gig trail and all styles will be catered for, from swing to bluegrass, rockabilly to cajun, folk and the blues.
Tickets are available NOW from www.kilkennyroots.com
Italian Punk Rock / Powerpop band The Sensibles are over in the UK early next month for a couple of dates in the Midlands, you can catch them in Leicester and Leek on the 4th and 5th for a hefty dose of the bands infectious melodies and energy, catch them if you can or at the very least grab their album at Bandcamp.