This week on the Department of Tangents Podcast, a conversation with Allison Russell and JT Nero of Birds of Chicago, plus a preview of comedian Jenny Zigrino‘s upcoming album, JZ’s New Album. I was able to sit down with Birds of Chicago before their February 2 show at Cinema Salem, and I got to see how their touring team operates. Russell and Nero are the creative center of the band, and tour with backup musicians and tour manager Suzi Boelter, who keeps everything in order. It really is a touring family, as Russell and Nero are husband and wife and tour with their daughter Ida Maeve (you can hear here towards the end of the conversation here). They were back on tour nine days after finishing recording sessions for their upcoming album, Love In Wartime (no official release date for that yet). They keep a fairly relentless schedule, and do it with good humor. Everyone on the team seemed genuinely happy to be in each other’s company.
The show was intimate and spirited. As they were in conversation, Nero showed his sly sense of humor and Russell was effervescent. The set relied heavily on their last album, the Joe Henry-produced Real Midnight, and they also previewed tracks from the upcoming album, including the title track, “Lodestar,” and “Baton Rogue.” They new one, they told me, is a bit more upbeat than Real Midnight, and was co-produced by Luther Dickinson (Black Crowes, North Mississippi All-Stars). Photos from that show are in the gallery below.
Also on this podcast, comedian Jenny Zigrino tells us what every country song sounds like to her, and imagines Winston Churchill’s diaries in a track from JZ’s New Album, which is out March 10. And if you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe on iTunes by clicking the link below.