they know! they know!

Altos – Never Named

Isn’t my state beautiful? Green trees, lakes and rivers abound, and stunning bands like Altos. One of my all-time favorite live acts, the men and women of Altos will collectively knock you over again and again.

Altos has unwittingly soundtracked my last couple years – I first saw them in the middle of the night with some of my favorite people, fog churning around us as we huddled for warmth as fall started to creep into the last light of summer. They are the band that first led me to The Shitty Barn, now a place I couldn’t imagine my summers without. Last year I returned to the banks of the Rock River, the place where I first saw them play, known then as Group of the Altos. My heart pounded along to “Never Named” as I burned sparklers and fireworks exploded overhead with the song’s pulsing crescendo.

People often speak of true love only romantically and in relation to another person, but the fullness in my heart brought by these notes and places and images can’t be denied.

in the backwoods they understand

Sometimes a body just needs some boot stompin’, beer-swiggin’ American rock and roll. That’s precisely what the crowd got at the Majestic Theater in Madison, Wisconsin on February 15, 2014 when they saw The Wild Feathers.

Affectionately dubbed “The Snowed Out Tour” according to Taylor Burns due to the sub-freezing temperatures the Nashville quintet has been encountering throughout the Midwest, the band warmed up the room with a blazing set that hit every track on their debut record along with a new song. Highlights included “Hard Times,” crowd-sing-along favorite “Left My Woman,” and barn-burner “Backwoods Company”.  Also of note were their well-chosen encore choices by The Band and Led Zeppelin – where their main set was a stone-solid performance the encore was more akin to a jukebox sing-along with your best pals.

Part of The Wild Feathers’s appeal is the diversity found among the members – drummer Ben Dumas can bang it out with the best of them, Burns has a bluesy bent that calls to mind Chris Robinson, and Joel King’s garage-rock howl is tempered by Ricky Young’s gorgeous delivery. Preston Wimberly rounds out the four-part harmonies but really shines on guitar; his solos actually add to the quality of the songs as opposed to being indulgent or distracting. Such a wealth of talent in one place led to a truly memorable evening.

Opening acts Saints of Valory and Jamestown Revival were no slouches either – SOV’s anthemic rock is ready for an arena stage and the Jamestown boys have buckets of charm. The three bands will be touring together into March. Click here to get dates and free tour sampler.

You can check out all the photos from the show here.

SETLIST
Hard Wind, Backwoods Company, I Can Have You, If You Don’t Love Me, Got It Wrong, Hard Times, I’m Alive, How, Tall Boots, [New Song], American, Left My Woman, The Ceiling
ENCORE
Hey Hey What I Can I Do (Led Zeppelin cover), The Weight (The Band cover)