Birds of Chicago
Birds of Chicago is JT Nero, a distinctive new American songwriter who lists Mark Twain and Sam Cooke among his biggest songwriting influences. He is a poet of the everyday and the absurd, of loneliness and hope, and he's a bit of a rock 'n' roll preacher. Canada's Allison Russell has contributed her silver and gold tones to the band Po' Girl, and in her voice you'll hear echoes of mountain gospel, classic soul, old R&B, and speakeasy chanteuse music—all backed up by her banjo, ukulele, guitar, clarinet, and amazing whistling skills to boot. She writes gorgeous, unpredictable songs and makes other people's her own with startling ease. This duo got together at the Kate Wolf Memorial Fest last year and generated tremendous enthusiasm. Their debut album, "Birds of Chicago, Volume 1," has earned raves across the board. Says the Chicago Tribune: "They project organic gospel, hillbilly, folk and soul elements that bridge traditional and modern approaches."