Birds of Chicago delve into that ever-widening genre called Americana, and bring out something both soulful and sweet, smooth and raw. Just like the big city of Chicago turned traveling bluesmen into electric nightclub entertainers in the ’50s, the Birds of Chicago are set to change what can be done in the genre that has tended to the too-folksy side in recent years. They’re a smokin’ hot live band, to be proved Sunday, when they play as part of Sings Like Hell’s current series.
The band came together when Chicago-based JT Nero, of JT and the Clouds, and Montreal-based Allison Russell of Po’Girl joined forces romantically and artistically. After touring on and off with each other, and hiding their relationship from the rest of the touring musicians, they finally combined their songwriting, their arranging and their voices. Their self-titled debut came out in 2012, followed by a live album in 2013, bolstered by constant touring.