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Birds of Chicago, Phoebe Hunt & the Gatherers, Dori Freeman & Dom Flemons - 1/12
at City Winery New York City
- 10:00pm (Estimated End Time)
Birds of Chicago:
Birds of Chicago will release their new digital E.P. American Flowers, November 17th on Signature Sounds. Proceeds from American Flowers will benefit Chicago’s South Side based Teen Living Programs– a non-profit that builds community, hope and opportunity for youth who are homeless and at risk.
The title track will be pre-released on November 7th along with pre-orders. Look for their full-length album, Love in Wartime to be released in April, 2018.
American Flowers is the revelatory Signature Sounds debut from acclaimed husband and wife led band, Birds of Chicago. Known for their “near perfect Americana” (No Depression), JT Nero and Allison Russell had recently finished recording their sprawling rock and roll circus of an album Love in Wartime, to be released next year. Nero had a suite of songs that didn’t feel quite at home on Love in Wartime. Having relocated to Nashville, they decided to throw themselves their own welcome to town party by recording an acoustic E.P. at Steve Dawson’s Henhouse Studio. New friends like Kenneth Pattengale of The Milk Carton Kids, and Maya de Vitry of The Stray Birds got in on the fun, and the Birds emerged after a couple days with the raw, spontaneous, and warm American Flowers. The E.P. is Love in Wartime’s cousin from the country, and it rounds out Birds of Chicago’s offering of healing, communion and celebration of life in a dark and troubled time.
Dori Freeman grew up in a family of bluegrass musicians, raised on a diet of Doc Watson and the Louvin Brothers. But by driving age, she’d cruise around her hometown of Galax, Virginia (pop: 7,042), windows down, breeze riffling her cropped strawberry-blonde hair, and harmonize with the pop melodies of singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson playing on her CD player. “I always thought that our voices sounded nice together,” Freeman says in a rough-edged, Appalachian twang. The feeling stuck with her, and at one point, Freeman did something odd for a 22-year-old single mom working at the family’s frame shop: she recorded a video of herself playing Thompson’s “Everybody Move It” and sent it to him via Facebook, with a note saying how much she liked to sing with him.
Three days later, he wrote back.
Two years after that, The New York Times named Freeman’s self-titled debut—an honest and achingly beautiful collection of folk and country songs produced by Thompson and recorded in three days—one of the best albums of 2016. “The purity of Dori Freeman’s voice and the directness of her songwriting reflect not only her Appalachian hometown,” wrote the Times’ Jon Pareles in his initial review, “but also a determined classicism, a rejection of the ways modern country punches itself up for radio and arenas.”
Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers:
An accomplished Americana instrumentalist with foundations in jazz and swing music, Phoebe makes an impressive creative leap with this record. It’s the culmination of a five year journey that has taken her from her Austin roots through Music Row, Brooklyn, and even to India to study with seventh-generation master violinist Kala Ramnath. Along the way, Phoebe found her voice and delivered her most inspired set of songs to date — the soundtrack to her self-discovery.
Shanti’s Shadow marks an arrival for Phoebe Hunt, whose artistic and personal journey has deep storylines. These masterfully crafted songs are brought to life by the musicians Phoebe has gathered – each a virtuoso in their own right. Phoebe is skilled at taking seemingly disparate elements and pulling them together into a dazzling kaleidoscope of lush, coherent sound and rhythm patterns. The result is music that swells, crashes and breathes organically under Phoebe’s soulful, plaintive voice. Sounds of Americana and Texas Tinged Swing are woven with exotic rhythmic concepts culled from Phoebe’s time in India.
Shanti’s Shadow is always surprising yet comfortingly familiar. Prior to recording this album, the entire band traveled to India to study at an ashram outside of Pune with master violinist Kala Ramnath. In India, they practiced music, meditation and philosophy – sometimes spending as many as 10 hours a day working and re-working Tats and Ragas. This intense, experiential study is apparent in the seamless musical play and improvisation of Shanti’s Shadow.
Dom Flemons is originally from Phoenix, Arizona and currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area. He is known as “The American Songster” since his repertoire of music covers nearly 100 years of American folklore, ballads, and tunes. Flemons is a music scholar, historian, record collector and a multi-instrumentalist. He is considered an expert player on the Banjo, Fife, Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Quills, and Rhythm Bones. He has performed with leading musicians, such as, Mike Seeger, Joe Thompson, Martin Simpson, Boo Hanks, Taj Mahal, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Guy Davis. He has been a professional touring musician for the past ten years and has traveled around the nation and the world presenting traditional folk and roots music to diverse audiences. Flemons has performed as a soloist at prestigious venues, such as, Carnegie Hall, Cecil Sharp House, the Grand Ole Opry, the Opening Ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Newport Folk Festival and represented the United States at the 2017 Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, Malaysia.
In 2018, Flemons will release his first solo album titled “Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys” on GRAMMY Award winning record label Smithsonian Folkways. This recording is part of the African American Legacy Recordings series, co-produced with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. In 2017, Flemons was featured on David Holt’s State of Music on PBS and performed as bluesman Joe Hill Louis on CMT’s original hit television show “Sun Records”. In 2016, Flemons released a DUO album with British musician Martin Simpson titled “Ever Popular Favourites” on Fledg’ling Records. He launched a podcast, American Songster Radio, on WUNC Public Radio and filmed two instructional DVD’s through Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop. In 2014, Flemons released a critically acclaimed solo album “Prospect Hill” through Music Maker Relief Foundation.
In 2005, Flemons co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops who have won a GRAMMY for Best Traditional Folk in 2010. He left the group to pursue his solo career in 2014 and in 2016 the Carolina Chocolate Drops were inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.