Weekend: Folky Americana flies into Findlay

HUSBAND-AND-WIFE-LED band The Birds of Chicago flies into Findlay to bring its own brand of Americana music to the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts Nov. 30 as part of the Live @ Armes series. (Photo provided)

The Birds of Chicago will fly into Findlay to play their brand of Americana music as part of the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts’ Live @ Armes series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at the MCPA’s Roy and Marcia Armes Hall.

Led by the husband and wife team of JT Nero and Allison Russell, Birds of Chicago is touring in support of its new EP, “American Flowers,” released on Friday.

The group recently finished recording its “sprawling rock and roll circus of an album,” “Love in Wartime,” co-produced by Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, to be released next April on Signature Sounds, according to the band’s website.

However, Nero wrote six songs that didn’t fit onto the upcoming album, and having relocated to Nashville, the Birds of Chicago decided to throw themselves their own welcome-to-town party by recording an acoustic EP at Steve Dawson’s Henhouse Studio. New friends like Kenneth Pattengale of the Milk Carton Kids and Maya de Vitry of the Stray Birds joined the recording, and the Birds emerged after a couple of days with the raw, spontaneous, and warm-sounding “American Flowers.”

The website describes the EP as “‘Love in Wartime”s cousin from the country,” rounding out Birds of Chicago’s offering of healing, communion and celebration of life through their music.

The band members enjoy singing for new audiences, touring 200 nights a year since their 2012 formation, when Nero started writing for Russell. Both were accomplished singer/songwriters with projects of their own — Nero with JT and the Clouds and Russell with the acclaimed Canadian roots outfit Po’ Girl, but together they detected an unmistakable chemistry, according to the website.

Drawing heavily from gospel tradition, the music displays “stark, elemental imagery that feels like Scripture, or a lost folk song recovered,” the website said.

Partial proceeds from “American Flowers” will go toward Chicago’s South Side-based Teen Living Programs, a nonprofit that benefits homeless and at-risk youth.

The Live @ Armes Series is meant to create an intimate, jazz club atmosphere, featuring general admission theater-style seating on the main floor or general admission bistro-style tabletop seating, with four seats per table. The main floor tickets cost $25, the tabletop seats are $35 and they can be ordered by calling the Marathon Center’s box office at 419-423-2787, and visiting the box office in person at 200 W. Main Cross St. from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

For more information, visit www.birdsofchicago.com.



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