Birds Of Chicago, 'Real Midnight' (Live) The folk group performs the title track and "thesis statement" of its new album for Folk Alley.

Studio Sessions

Watch Birds of Chicago Perform 'Real Midnight' Live In The StudioFolk Alley

JT Nero and Allison Russell — now Birds of Chicago — had been friends and mutual admirers of each other's work for years before that friendship evolved into a musical and life partnership. They released their first studio album as a duo in 2012, and then followed up quickly with a live recording in 2013. Now, they've just put out their sophomore studio recording, Real Midnight, produced by Joe Henry. It's the last album recorded in Henry's acclaimed Garfield House studio in South Pasadena, Calif., and it showcases beautifully the pairing of JT's songwriting with Allison's powerful yet understated vocals.

During its recent Northeast tour, Birds of Chicago dodged a few blizzards and rolled into Saranac Lake, N.Y. for a Folk Alley Session taping at Beehive Productions studio. Here, with Joel Schwartz on guitar and Chris Merrill on bass, the group performs the title track of its new record, which Nero calls a "thesis statement" for the album. He says, "The darkness is coming, and we can't do anything about that, but what we can do is be good to each other and be good to the ones that we love. And it starts with the people who are right in front of you — your anchors. It's so easy to be the worst to the people you love the most."

SET LIST
  • "Real Midnight"

Watch Birds of Chicago's full Folk Alley Session at FolkAlley.com.

Video produced by Linda Fahey of FolkAlley.com and Jeff Oehler and Sue Bibeau of Beehive Productions with audio assistance from Redia Spada and camera assistance from Lisa Godfrey.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Folk

Sherman Holmes on Mountain Stage Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Sherman Holmes On Mountain Stage

Hear the revered blues musician play songs from his solo debut on the 900th episode of Mountain Stage.

Sherman Holmes On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/553694060/553700931" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Billy Bragg and Joe Henry Josh Saul/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Josh Saul/Mountain Stage

Billy Bragg And Joe Henry On Mountain Stage

Together, the English punk-folker and the celebrated American singer-songwriter are a 2017 Americana Music Award-nominated duo that brings its brawny harmonies to its Mountain Stage debut.

Billy Bragg And Joe Henry On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/548999628/549007663" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A still from Charlie Parr's "Peaceful Valley" video. YouTube hide caption

toggle caption YouTube

Charlie Parr's Raucous Junk-Rag 'Peaceful Valley' Is Anything But

With fingers flying like a hornet's nest knocked on its side, the guitarist's "Peaceful Valley" is a song for devil-may-care hermits and hoarders. Watch the animated video.

Jonatha Brooke on Mountain Stage Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Jonatha Brooke On Mountain Stage

Hear the singer-songwriter's return to Mountain Stage in this 2016 performance, which features the Mountain Stage Band joining in for the Woody Guthrie-penned "You And I."

Jonatha Brooke On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/545342899/545472308" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

John Paul White performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

John Paul White, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

"If you came to this set looking to be cheered up, you're screwed," White deadpanned from the stage. His music can give goosebumps, even on a sunny summer day; hear his set at Newport now.

John Paul White, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539348461/542435387" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Joseph performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Joseph, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

The Portland trio, composed of sisters Natalie, Meegan and Allison Closner, makes music that invites its audience to share in its bond of sisterhood. Hear Joseph's set at Newport Folk now.

Joseph, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539346196/542434613" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top