FUTUREBIRDS with Tyler Ramsey
MAXXMUSIC, Neighborhood Theatre at Neighborhood Theatre
There is a 8 ticket limit per customer. Service fees are non-refundable.
Tickets: $23 adv/$28 dos (plus sales tax and service fee) *Tickets available online only*
18+ Only - Valid ID required for entry into venue (Accepted forms of ID: State Issued ID or Driver's License, Military ID, Passport.)
Indie / Rock / Psychedelic Folk
Recorded at several studios (Portico, Chase Park, Rialto Row, Dialback Sound), the LP is a snarling devil-may-care batch of 12 tunes. It encompasses a seamless blend of hard rock, psychedelic alt-country and folk stylings — something signature to the unique sound, tone and attitude of the Futurebirds.
“We recorded this album all over the place,” says guitarist/singer Thomas Johnson. “In a lot of ways it kept us from bogging down, at times it was probably inefficient, but ultimately everyone of the songs captures the vibe(s) of the spaces and cities we occupied while we made it.
‘I’m Killin You’ really captures the vibe of the whole record for me. The main theme I had in my head while writing it though, was getting past the negative shit that can live on the periphery (or in the forefront) of life. Killing the bad side of human nature. Being self-aware, and being honest with yourself and trying to find peace with the person you’ve become or are becoming (or always were).”
“We’ve been putting one foot in front of the other for a decade now. Every tour, we get smarter about how we operate, how we craft a live show, how we utilize everyone’s individual talents,” guitarist/singer Carter King adds. “Every day, we become better songwriters, more comfortable as artists and producers, better business people — it’s all about teamwork.”
Now on the backside of a decade of road warrior hard-knocks and well-earned accolades, the Athens, GA rock sextet has been hitting its full stride as of late. It’s a sense of time and place where what’s most important remains at the forefront of the group’s philosophy and deeply-held personal mission — a group of friends making sonically innovative music.
“We have one of the oddest and most talented mix of people to make up a band that I’ve ever seen. Everyone is extremely talented in an assortment of different ways, hilarious, tough, creative, scrappy,” King says. “Stylistically, everyone brings something different to the band, and we’re getting better at simultaneously nurturing those differences, melding them together into one unified thing.”
With a touring schedule resembling some haphazard spider web spun across America, the Futurebirds are unrelenting in their quest to bring the melodic party to your hometown, no matter how far away the destination or how small the stage may be.
“And we’ve learned a lot about life along the way,” guitarist/singer Daniel Womack reflects. “Watching other bands rise and fall, watching the sunrise and the sunset, cried because it hurt, cried because it felt good, watching strangers turn into friends and some into family.”
“In a lot of ways the live show is the last frontier, the last thing left in the music industry that can’t be digitized and given away for free,” Johnson adds. “It’s the thing that keeps us coming back. The act of making something awesome and unique with six individuals, creating a sound-weave, connecting to the core of human existence, that’s the teamwork.”
Ultimately, the underlying message of the Futurebirds is making sure everybody feels included in the grand scheme of things — this absurd reality that is life itself — where compassion from both sides of the microphone and drinks held high, and in unison, is the name of the game.
“There’s a reciprocated energy between us and the crowd, where everyone is riding on that same wave together,” Womack says. “And when you’re in that moment, everything about this band life makes sense. The feeling that exists in that moment between the crowd and us — that’s why we do what we do. That’s Teamwork.”
Opener: TYLER RAMSEY
As the naturalist John Muir wrote, “in every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” It is for this reason that musician Tyler Ramsey goes in the woods when he is writing, and why he and his wife have settled on a plot of land many miles outside of the nearest city of Asheville, North Carolina, to raise their young daughter.
For Ramsey, living deliberately and with a little space, removed from distractions and the allure of needless consumption, is how he feels most creative and at ease.
Ramsey grew up absorbing the country-blues guitar players who used to roam the mountainous region of his Carolina home, including Mance Lipscomb, Mississippi John Hurt and renowned pickers like John Fahey and Leo Kottke. Equally adept at playing guitar, keyboards, bass and percussion, he has distinguished himself as a gifted songwriter, a sublime vocalist and an inventive, influential musician.
While Ramsey’s writing has been compared to Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens, his songs smartly blends elements of rock, Americana and folk, taking the listener on their own meditative, soulful and rewarding journey.
But for as much as he prefers to spend his time at home, his past decade was spent largely away from it. As guitarist for and co-writer with the rock group Band of Horses, Ramsey found himself on the road constantly, making temporary shelters inside of hotel rooms and bus bunks. After ten years with the band it was time for a change, and Ramsey seized the opportunity to pour all of his creative energy into his solo work. It became natural, then, for some of his new material to explore that dynamic of being away and creating a respite wherever possible.
Writing his acclaimed 2019 album For the Morning, his first album since 2011’s The Valley Wind and debut for Fantasy Records, Ramsey tapped into that insulated world where imagination flourishes and sounds for mining are plentiful to create his most realized and regal work yet. Following his exit from the band and free to follow his own music full-time, Ramsey took an album’s worth of demo songs to La La Land studios in Louisville, Kentucky, where he, studio engineer Kevin Ratterman, and Ramsey’s longtime friend Seth Kauffman, set out to record. The trio fulfilled the majority of all sonic duties during this tracking phase, with Ramsey’s demos serving as blueprints as they pieced songs together during the first weeklong session. Ramsey, Ratterman, and Kauffman would return to the studio again for another shorter period to flesh out those recordings, and one final day in friend and former Band of Horses bandmate Bill Reynolds’s Nashville studio finished the job.
The process was complemented by spots from several guest musicians, including Joan Shelley, Thad Cockrell, and Molly Parden singing harmony on various songs, the pedal steel player Russ Paul contributing several solos, and Gareth Liddiard from The Drones on guitar.
The new EP, Found A Picture Of You, is a continuation of Ramsey’s evolution as a solo artist, giving fans a glimpse into another side of his masterful artistry while he sets an eye towards better times ahead and new music in 2021.