Led by JT Nero and Allison Russell, Birds of Chicago are known for their seamless combination of rock n’ roll meets “near perfect Americana” (No Depression). Their most recent album, Love in Wartime is a rock and roll suite with impressive cinematic sweep. NPR praised, “Nero and Russell play folk-rock with impressionistic flourishes and gospel warmth, lent unexpected extravagance by Russell’s singing…” Co-produced by Nero and Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars), it evokes epic efforts of the 60’s and 70’s, with love as the undeniable through-line, and finds Nero and Russell continuing to create joyously urgent rock songs with deep lyricism, gut-punch singing and fevered musicality.
“Writing songs, when it feels right, feels more like a hunt then a construction. I don’t know if other writers have this feeling — I suspect they do — but it starts with a fragment of a phrase or melody — just a couple words, or even consonant/vowel sounds…and for whatever reason, that particular fragment will come with a rush of anticipation, a premonition of the whole song. And in that moment, it’s not a question of writing the song, it’s a question of running it down…a weird magical certainty that there is, in fact, a whole song out there. You saw the tip of the whale’s tail. There’s no question that there’s a whole whale there. You just have to go get it. Wait, that makes me a whaler! That’s terrible! Let’s switch it to a great marlin, flashing out of the water for a second. That’s better. Anyway, that feeling, that split second of excitement and certainty — THAT’s the drug. The part of the whole deal I could never give up.”
-Birds of Chicago