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Birds Of Chicago Birds Of Chicago
Album: Love In Wartime
Label: Signature Sounds
Tracks: 11

One of the best nights I ever had was in a chalet at Butlins, but take your smutty thoughts about teenage antics out of your mind, this was one of those days when serendipity was working hard. JT Nero aka Jeremy Lindsay had had a gig in Liverpool blown out, but due to circumstances managed to get a replacement gig on the JAKS stage at the Great British Folk Festival. His band on that tour was an Austin singer-songwriter called Joe and Po Girls' Allison Russell. A review of the set described it thus

"The backdrop of corrugated iron and guitars, just set off the moment, as did sympathetic lighting and decent sound. JT Nero performed a stunning set, the interaction between the musicians was instinctive and effortless, if you were there you'll know exactly what I mean, it was as though someone had sprinkled pixie dust, amazing.!

That evening a group of us were in one of the chalets eating drinking and having a sing-a-round, my first public performance in twenty three years, and having a great time. Why's this relevant? I hear you ask, well Allison and JT are Birds Of Chicago and I watched their careers with a special interest ever since and it's been one that's never failed to impress.

Pitched somewhere between folk, soul and blues, with a whole lot of life thrown in for good measure this is an album that lives up to its title. Love In Wartime was all about living for the here and now, hoping for a bright future and fearing the consequences and this album reflects that almost mirror like.

It puts the light back into the human condition, delivers great narrative and instrumental breaks that give you the chance to reflect, the chance to breathe in the mood. Make no mistake, this is an album that takes you out there and then helps you find your way home, back to the bosom of family.

"Love In Wartime" could easily have been a bedsit album, but it's too uplifting for that, it has a richness that raises the spirit and brings a knowing smile to the face. It's an album that entwines wordcraft and poetry with such sweet music and comes with a vitality that can't do anything else but enthuse.

Birds Of Chicago have delivered a beacon of light into the darkness and it's called, "Love In Wartime".

Neil King