Birds of Chicago at Fountain Square American Roots Series 8/26

Birds of Chicago
Birds of Chicago

Aug. 26
American Roots Series
5th and Vine St. – Cincinnati, OH
7:00pm – Free show

Birds of Chicago is a musical collective built around the husband-wife team of JT Nero and Allison Russell. Their unique brand of Americana encompasses mountain gospel, street corner doo-wop and classic soul.

JT Nero is a distinct songwriter who lists Mark Twain and Sam Cooke among his biggest influences. Nero first gained notoriety as front-man for Chicago’s JT & The Clouds, and The Be Good Tanyas provided an early career boost by covering the song, “Scattered Leaves.” Nero’s voice is often described as a fractured country soul croon, and the perfect counter-point to his partner’s warmer tones.

Allison Russell evokes the image of a speakeasy chanteuse, complete with the delicacy and clarity of Ma Carter or Loretta Lynn. She plays banjo, ukulele, guitar, and clarinet, not to mention being a top shelf whistler. Russell writes gorgeous, unpredictable songs, and makes other people’s tunes – often Nero’s – her own with startling ease. She first burst on the roots-music scene as part of the Canadian indie-folk sensation, Po’ Girl.

Nero and Russell struck gold on the JT Nero solo release,Mountains/Forests, reaching No. 2 on the Americana UK Critic’s List for 2011. Realizing their chemistry, Nero and Allison formed Birds of Chicago as a vehicle for their shared musical vision, and hit the road, touring across US, Canada and Europe. In addition to their own headline shows, the band recently shared bills with Alejandro Escovedo, Elephant Revival, and The Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Festival appearances include Delfest, Kerrville, Strawberry, High Sierra, Joshua Tree Roots Festival, Folk Alliance (official showcase) and more. Sessions include Daytrotter, Audiotree Live, e-Town Hall and more.

The eponymous CD “Birds of Chicago” enjoyed over 10 weeks in the CMJ Top 200. The band is now touring in support of 2014’s“Live from SPACE,” a raucous 17 track disc recorded live before a hometown crowd in Evanston, IL.

For music samples: