I’ve been following the duo called Birds of Chicago since first hearing them around 5 years ago. Catchy songs, fine playing and delicate harmonies, a sense of fun and real rocking grooves – what’s not to like?

The duo are JT Nero and Alison Russell (aka Po’ Girl) and they co-produced this with Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) so the Americana and roots heritage is there from the start and this collection of songs seem to focus on love as its theme and linkage.

Stylistically, they don’t stop at any specific form. You get a distinctly eighties pop song with ‘Never Go Back’ complete with handclaps and off kilter vocal interlude and that takes you into the title song, a lilting and wistful number that pits the vocals of both of them softly harmonising and seemingly telling two different sides of a story.
And this pertains all through the album. The sense of dislocation and division, almost like-minded couples coming together in a world of increasing black and white. Love/hate politics.
Somehow though, they manage to make of it music that is essential and heartfelt, music that brings the rift edges closer together while not ever ignoring the fact that they are there.

In less talented hands this could sound awkward and contrived but such are their talents that it is completely natural and makes you feel that there is hope in the madness.

A stunning album and well up to the class of their previous releases.

They will be touring in May in UK & Ireland
Sat 5 Kilkenny, Ireland Kilkenny Roots Festival, Cleere’s Bar & Theatre
Sun 6 Kilkenny, Ireland Kilkenny Roots Festival, Cleere’s Bar & Theatre
Mon 7 Kirton-In-Lindsey, Lincs. Town Hall
Tue 8 Sheffield The Greystones
Wed 9 Nottingham The Maze
Fri 11 Calstock, Cornwall Calstock Hall
Sat 12 Leeds Seven Arts
Sun 13 Saltaire, West Yorks. The Live Room, Caroline Social Club
Mon 14 London The Lexington
Tue 15 Milton Keynes The Stables, Stage 2
Wed 16 Baulking, Oxfordshire St Nicholas Church
Thu 17 Finchingfield, Essex St. John The Baptist Church
Fri 18 Canterbury Gulbenkian
Sun 20 Lerwick, Shetland Mareel