The collective Birds of Chicago is built around the beguiling vocals and sublime, roots-infused songs of Allison Russell and JT Nero, a.k.a. Jeremy Lindsay. Late last year the pair released the effusively praised eponymous debut album of their new entity, which can quickly expand with accordions, horns, extra vocalists, and more. Here, they'll be joined by drummer Nick Chambers and bassist Chris Merrill. Both Russell and Lindsay have charmingly idiosyncratic voices, supple blends of brittle country, radiant gospel, resilient soul, mountain folk, and creaky pop, marvelously entwining to create a timeless, diaphanous intimacy. The songs, characterized by a sort of rustic surrealism, initially seem as breezy as the music. But they're haunted by loss, sorrow, alienation, even murder; their poetry is as exquisite as the parlor-like arrangements, floating on banjo lines, irony etched by a clarinet. 18+.
Thu., Aug. 29, 8 p.m., 2013