February 9, 2023







birds of play

The Americana roots band Birds of Play is pictured throughout a efficiency. The Colorado-based quartet will probably be showing at The Arts Campus At Willits on Saturday. 




Coming to The Arts Campus At Willits on Saturday is the Americana roots quartet Birds of Play. 

Identified for his or her soulful lyrics and fluid musicality, the Colorado group is presently on tour and will probably be making its TACAW debut. Opening for Birds of Play on Saturday will probably be Carbondale-based bluegrass outfit The Pink Hill Rollers. The present begins at 8 p.m. (doorways open at 7 p.m.) and restricted seating is obtainable. 

Birds of Play lead singer and songwriter Alex Paul described his band’s sound as “delicate, playful and fairly.” He mentioned plenty of storytelling comes into play when performing dwell and he seems to be ahead to sharing that have with the Roaring Fork Valley. 

“We write songs which might be actually soulful and significant — you recognize, plenty of our inspiration comes from the land we inhabit and the communities we’re immersed in,” Paul mentioned. “And the response to the music appears to be that that deep form of soulful method to our songwriting and craft is met and appreciated.” 







birds of play 2

Birds of Play consists of Alex Paul (lead singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist), Jack Tolan (guitars, mandolin and vocals), Eric Shedd (bass, mandolin, guitars and vocals) and Anneke Dean — the band’s latest member who makes a speciality of violin. Birds of Play has launched three albums and can report a fourth on the finish of this month. 




Whereas the thought for the band had been circulating for fairly a while, Birds of Play was born about 4 years in the past and started as a three-man group. Paul — who additionally performs guitar, mandolin and bass and was beforehand a part of one other band based mostly out of Durango — fashioned Birds of Play along with his pals, Jack Tolan and Eric Shedd, after he gained a solo competitors on the 2018 Telluride Blues and Brews Pageant. 

Included within the prize bundle was a assured efficiency slot on the following 12 months’s competition. This chance arose across the identical time wherein Paul had additionally obtained a grant from the Telluride Arts District to report an album. 

“Unexpectedly, I had this album funding and this competition slot,” Paul mentioned. “I had just a little little bit of incentive to lastly get this band thought collectively — you recognize, with a aim to work in direction of and one thing to create.”

And so Paul, Tolan and Shedd got here collectively to report their first album, “Anthrophony,” earlier than ever having performed a present, Paul mentioned. The trio began touring quickly after, selecting up momentum within the 12 months main as much as the 2019 Telluride Blues and Brews Pageant. 

It was a enjoyable basis upon which to construct, Paul mentioned, and Birds of Play solely continued to develop within the years that adopted. The band grew to become a foursome in 2020 with the addition of Anneke Dean — a classically skilled violinist who has been enjoying the instrument since she was 8. She holds a level in violin efficiency from the Chicago School of Performing Arts. 

“I’m actually pleased with how we’ve constructed the band with out actually any exterior assist; we’ve performed fundraising campaigns and have been inventive about how you can make this work,” Paul mentioned. “It has been a gradual grassroots, community-building experiment, and now being 4 years into it, it appears like we’re nearer and nearer to having the ability to do that sustainably for a bunch of years to come back.” 

Birds of Play has launched three studio albums and appears to report a fourth on the finish of the month, Paul mentioned. The musician defined that each by design and circumstance, it’s troublesome to put Birds of Play inside a particular style. He famous how the 4 band members all come from completely different musical backgrounds and what they every deliver to the combo enhances each other properly. 

“It is exhausting to style what we do as a result of everybody has such a special musical upbringing,” Paul mentioned. “And we don’t wish to be pigeonholed into being a bluegrass band or a people band or a blues band as a result of we have all of those influences from all around the world and attempt to permit them to flourish as finest they’ll.” 

Paul mentioned he considers Telluride usually to be a house base for his band, noting that lots of the songs originated within the southwest Colorado mountain city. However the Birds of Play musicians have by no means all really lived in the identical place, he mentioned.

The quartet has a lot of completely different hubs all through Colorado and the Western Slope — the Roaring Fork Valley being considered one of them, as Tolan grew up in Glenwood Springs and the band will continuously go to the valley to rehearse or play gigs, Paul mentioned. He talked about how Birds of Play has carried out typically at Steve’s Guitars and True Nature in Carbondale and likewise on the Beyul Retreat. 

“All of us have plenty of neighborhood across the Roaring Fork Valley, however significantly in Carbondale and Glenwood — that’s been form of our second residence,” Paul mentioned. “And one of many issues I’m most trying ahead to is to share the night with The Pink Hill Rollers, I believe it’s a extremely superior pairing and I can not consider a extra particular place to do our first present collectively.”

Paul went on to state that Birds of Play shouldn’t be a celebration band and that whereas the quartet performs some bar exhibits and likes performing increased power occasions right here and there, the band’s favourite locations to play are listening rooms — “the place individuals are actually immersed within the music prepared to allow us to take them on a journey,” Paul mentioned.

TACAW’s theater room is completely suited to the form of vibes for which Birds of Play is aiming, added Paul. Although Saturday’s present will mark the musician’s first time performing on the Basalt venue, Paul talked about that he’s seen a present within the house earlier than and is thrilled to get to carry out in a room so conducive to the music that his band creates. 

“You already know, we wish to play rooms that go well with the music that we wish to share with individuals and have that be responded to positively,” Paul mentioned.

Tickets are $20 prematurely and $25 on the day of the present. For extra info and to buy tickets, go to tacaw.org

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