Birds of Chicago

birds-of-chicago400with Hannah Kile opening
The Center for the Arts Discover Series presents
Saturday, March 1, 8:00PM
$18 members, $22 non-member
(Does not include applicable fees)

Dance Concert. Limited Seating Available.

“…the year’s biggest local roots surprise comes courtesy of JT Nero (nee Jeremy Lindsay) and Allison Russell. Teaming as Birds of Chicago, they project organic gospel, hillbilly, folk and soul elements that bridge traditional and modern approaches.” – The Chicago Tribune

“A Seamless fusion of soul, country and doo-wop.” –KUTX Studio 1A Sessions 

“Fine examples of song writing and singing. A broad palette with some forays into Louisiana and a more rustic feel to some of the songs at times recalling the late Ronnie Lane’s freewheeling celebration of traveling folk.”  – Blabber ’n’ Smoke

Birds of Chicago is a collective based around JT Nero and Allison Russell. Whether touring as a duo or with the full family band, Nero and Russell have emerged as two of the most compelling new voices in North American Roots music.

2012’s release BIRDS of CHICAGO has been called “As refreshing and rewarding as morning in the reeds with the Audubon Society” by Thomas Connor of the Chicago Sun Times. This debut offering by Birds of Chicago has garnered Rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. The album is as beautifully written as it is sung and has been Championed by No Depression, Jambase, Daytrotter, Audio Tree, Americana UK as well as receiving extensive US college radio play.

A bit of History on Birds of Chicago:

For several years Russell and Nero’s respective bands, Po’ Girl (Vancouver, BC) and JT and the Clouds (Chicago, IL), have collaborated extensively, but on 2011’s Mountains/Forests, released under the JT Nero banner, they tapped into the true, bewitching power of their voices together on an entire record. It also featured the full cast of characters that would round out the Birds of Chicago ensemble — the Clouds and Michelle McGrath, the luminous singer and picker from the hidden hills of Southeast Ohio.

The record “Mountains/Forests” received critical raves and won them new fans on both side of the Atlantic, and created a great deal of excitement for the self titled debut which was release in October of 2012 and celebrated with a 4 month Co album release tour w/ Bay Area artist Sean Hayes.

Nero’s fractured country-soul voice wrapped in Russell’s silver and gold tones, is a fine thing. Not too perfect, not at all saccharine, you’ll hear echoes of mountain gospel, street corner doo-wop, and classic soul. Accompanied by just a banjo and a guitar, it’s haunting. Fired by the band, it’s a full tilt revival.

Nero and Russell are most at home on the road – pick almost any night in the next two years and you can bet they will be in some festival, theater, pub, VFW hall, roller rink (they wish) or living room, dovetailing their voices, singing their songs of hope, despair, love…. and electric seahorses. And honey bee apocalypses. And ice cream. It’s familiar and strange stuff – the everyday and the magical. Come see ‘em, they won’t be hard to find.


“Sweet, soulful songwriter provides poetic messages blending original and traditional folk, with individual voice and instrument” – California Nut Festival

Hannah Kile was raised around folk, blues, and jazz influences, constantly being introduced to new musicians and styles of music. Hannah started playing the guitar at the age of fourteen and has been hard at work ever since, later picking up the mountain Dulcimer and the Banjo. Hannah’s vocals resemble performers such as Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, among others. She loves to share her music and stories of songwriting with her audiences, often seen as meek when she speaks onstage yet has powerful, controlled vocals when she begins to sing.

Kile has been to countless music festivals ever since the age of ten, and has played at festivals such as Two Day Town, Chico’s We Heart Ukulele Fest, California Nut Fest, and Worldfest 2013 after becoming a finalist of KZFR’s Celebration of the song, and earned a “Tweener” At her first Strawberry music Festival at Camp Mather. Hannah has performed in Theater as well as countless weddings. Music Director for California Musical Theatre, New Helvetia Theatre, and Capitol Stage wrote “She is one of the most grounded, polite, appreciative, humble, and talented performers”. Director Joshua Brown also wrote “Hannah works tirelessly on her craft, and her efforts are apparent when you watch her perform”. Hannah Kile was also noted by the California Nut Festival when they called her a “Sweet, soulful songwriter[who] provides poetic messages blending original and traditional folk, with individual voice and instrument”.

Hannah is honored to have performed for:

Auburn State Theater
California Nut Festival
We Heart Ukulele Festival
California World Music Festival
*Tweener* Strawberry Music Festival
Two Day Town
Luna’s Cafe
Fox and Goose


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