The Wooden Birds in Atlanta

Live review: The Wooden Birds at the EARL in Atlanta, 7/17/11

Andrew Kenny and his Wooden Birds just wrapped their tour promoting the new release Two Matchsticks (Barsuk Records), a well-received and wonderful record. Upon their arrival in Atlanta, Kenny gushed over the EARL being one of their favorite rooms in which to play, even though it was barely half-full. Atlanta’s loss. The Wooden Birds proceeded to put on a terrific show, with energized renditions of the album tracks from the new release.

Kenny has been around awhile and understands the ins and outs of playing clubs on Sunday nights and it apparently does not faze him. He was in the brightest of moods and carried on all evening with fans. Best known for his previous success with the American Analog Set, Kenny also recently worked with Broken Social Scene. Matchsticks is the follow-up to the Birds’ 2009 release Magnolia, also on Barsuk.

The Wooden Birds began their set with “Folly Cub,” then onto the single, “Two Matchsticks.” The sound was rich and full – richer and fuller than the record, with Leslie Sisson and Matt Pond adding much to the mix. Many songs were treated to duet and/or harmonizing by Sisson and Pond, which beautifully resonated throughout the room. The band covered most of the new release and several from the first. Kenny also traveled back to the AmAnSet days more than once, as in the closing song, “Aaron And Maria” from 2001’s Know By Heart. The bonus, here, is that the song transitioned into the Jackson Browne classic “Somebody’s Baby” (Remember Fast Times at Ridgemont High?). It was a seemless transition and a great surprise.

To listen or buy music by The Wooden Birds, visit their website at www.thewoodenbirds.com.

The evening began with a short set from the “modern classical” Takenobu, an Atlanta trio playing violin, cello and drums. A superb lo-fi strings experience going on here which will surely get exposed when they get sufficient exposure.

Listen to “Fight To Make It Up”

Up next was the Atlanta outfit Lily and the Tigers, a self-proclaimed folk/gothic/indie band. The short and sweet “Goin” was performed first, an acapella, bluegrassy thing, which led into “Khatmandu.” While the sounds were mellow, the group sounded smooth with singer Casey Hood exuding an Edie Brickell feel. This set provided a nice complement to the opener and headliner.

Listen or buy songs at amazon.com.

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