The Redbird CD Release show was last weekend and it was truly a great and humbling experience to be a part of. I got to watch some great friends perform and just got are real since of pride and appreciation for who they are and what the do. I don’t know if I was just in a great mood in general, but I just really loved being there for them and celebrating the night.
The show was held at the Cinemat and for $5 you not only got into the show, but also received a copy of the album Grow Good Things when you walked through the door. Although the show wasn’t packed to capacity, there were still enough people there that the band ran out of CDs pretty early on, which is great for them. The album artwork was done by the Delicious frontman David Woodruff. A stellar musician, Woodruff also does sweet artwork for a lot of the bands here including Alexander the Great, Busman’s Holiday, Kentucky Nightmare, The Alarmists (Calm Down.), as well as his own band the Delicious, and the 2007 Live From Bloomington CD. The album artwork look like this:
Anyway, the show was filled with great music, starting out with Ryan Helling, who’s folk/country-esque acoustic singer-songwriter style really sits well with listeners. He played through a number of tracks while nervously (sub-consciously?) swinging his knees. My favorites were “As I Go”, “Robot Leg”, and “Skytrack”. He was a great start to the show, and I even picked one of his handmade CDs. He had put a captioned picture on each of the ten CDs he had available. I chose the one with the wombat being that I’ll be traveling to Australia this summer:
Next Found Objects took the stage and of course blew it away. It’s always great to watch this band with people who have either never seen the before or haven’t seen them in a long time, because their new stuff really grabs hold of a crowd. I’m not going to gush on this band, if you really want to know how much I love them just type “Found Objects” into the search box. Moving On.
Okay, finally we get to Redbird, the main cause of the night. I got into this band because I’m a big Michael Bushman fan. The Alarmists (Calm Down.) was an amazing introduction to what Bushman was capable of musically, so I thought I’d give Redbird a try. It’s definitely completely different from The Alarmists, but not in a bad way at all. More pop-style rock songs, no crazy looping tracks, and a simple three-man set up of guitar (Bushman), bass (Andy Shaw), and drums (Alex Kroh).
They played through some great tracks on the CD including their band and album namesake track “Redbird”, and the ever so cute “Roly Poly” in which Mike and Andy switch roles. “Fort Fun” is a wonderful, quiet tune about a visit to my hometown (as well as Alex’s), Fort Wayne, Indiana. It’s entertaining to know someone gets a kick out of that place enough to right a song about it. I also really enjoyed the soft, short, and sweet “From Where I Lay”. While they didn’t play my favorite “Cloak & Dagger”, the crowd really got into the track “Bed” which is always precluded by Mike’s story about the song’s history. It refers to the twin bed he slept in most of his life that he inherited from his grandfather, and is quite the epic tale.
Overall the show was great, definitely a show to put down in the history books for the Cinemat as it is reaching its final days :'(. The CD is pretty great, and really captures the rustic style of the band’s sound and Bushman’s thick, rough, and tortured voice which captivates you from its whisper to its hoarse yelps. The three instrumentalist work well together to create a unique sound and experience.
I’d have to say my final favorite of this album was reading the notes. Even the notes can’t escape Bushman’s crafty storytelling:
According to the notes, the album was recorded in a house “running cables outside the house through a bedroom window to reach us outside the living room”
“Andy and I followed Alex by watching him through windows. They were nice nights and the crickets were awake and seemed happy to sing too. Friends stopped by and lent hands and comments. These recordings those nights produced”
Oh, what a night.