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L.A. Beat

Birds of Chicago and Steve Dawson play beautiful show of folk

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The Geomatic Attic was hopping this past week, but I only caught one show and was lucky to  have made it for that.
I missed the opening act, but was excited to catch the always lovely Birds of of Chicago, made even more beautiful by the addition of guitar maestro Steve Dawson to the fold of JT Nero and Alison Russell.
 They opAlison Russell doing double duty on clarinet and banjo at the Geomatic Attic. Photo by Richard Ameryened a stultifyingly beautiful set dripping with stories and oozing dollops of soul from Russell’s gorgeous voice, with the upbeat “Alright Alright.”

Russell alternated singing lead vocals with her husband and they each added perfect vocal harmonies throughout.

Dawson added guitar pyrotechnics with  fabulous fingerpicking and cascades of crystalline harmonics. He added subtle slide guitar to a couple of songs on, which focused on their last two CD including “Love in Wartime” and “American Flowers”, which they recorded in Dawson’s Henhouse studio in their new home of Nashville.

 They played such a mellow set that I was nodding off. Surprisingly, though “Love In Wartime” is their new rock album, the brighter, more up tempo moments came from the acoustic “American Flower.”
Nero noted there needs to be more love in the world, so Russell crooned out “Superlover.”

 She was all the more impressive as her voice dripped dollops of soul, but she alternated between banjo and clarinet, sometimes in the same song. A couple of the highlights were that song as well as the title track and “Lodestar.”

 Another highlight was a rare cover which  they recorded for “American Flowers” featuring Dawson and Russell while Nero left the stage to “visualize the rest of the set.”
The duo played a beautiful bilingual version of Hoagy Carmichael’s jazz standard “Stardust (Etoile d’Amour.)”
 Nero told a touching story about a good friend and inspiration who died too young and played a tribute song he wrote for him called “Hold Steady, Rock Slow.” also from the “American Flowers” CD.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 November 2018 11:46 )  
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