The Stray Birds

The Grey Eagle and Worthwhile Sounds Present

The Stray Birds

Ross Livermore

Thu, January 11, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$12.00 - $15.00

This event is all ages


The Stray Birds
The Stray Birds
If The Stray Birds were going to make another album, there was only one way it would happen: together. The idea was at once a challenge, an ultimatum, and a survival mechanism for a band at the crossroads. Write the record collaboratively, or don’t write it at all. The result is ‘Let It Pass,’ their fourth album and most powerful, personal, and cathartic collection yet. The record charts the trio’s tumultuous emotional journey in the years since the release of their acclaimed 2016 album ‘Magic Fire,’ a period which saw de Vitry and fiddler/guitarist/mandolinist/vocalist Oliver Craven end their romantic relationship while choosing to continue their musical one. Along with bassist/banjoist/vocalist Charlie Muench, the pair had to face down an uncertain future and reevaluate what it meant to create art together.

From the lilting “In My Time” and gentle “Light As A Fire” to the gritty “Miles and Miles” and sentimental “If Time Is Not Enough,” change and continuation are frequent themes on the album, but each track boils down in its own way to an act of growth and healing. Album opener “The Bridge” says it all, with the whole band joining in ecstatic three-part harmony to sing, “Meet me on the bridge / We can watch the water / Meet me on the bridge / Water running under.” Like so much of the album, it’s a cry for empathy and compromise that works on a variety of levels: personal, professional, political. The band takes an unflinching look in the mirror with this record, but it’s not hard to zoom out and hear the parallels here with a divided nation similarly navigating its way through a metaphorical maelstrom.

Originally hailing from Lancaster, PA, The Stray Birds first broke out in 2012 with their self-titled/self-released debut, which landed among NPR's Top Ten Folk/Americana Albums of the Year and earned the trio major festival performances everywhere from MerleFest to Scotland's Celtic Connections. They followed it up in 2014 with ‘Best Medicine,’ which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass chart, and returned two years later with the Larry Campbell-produced ‘Magic Fire,’ which hit #1 and earned an avalanche of critical praise. NPR hailed the band’s “warm harmonies” and “pristine playing,” while Pop Matters heralded the album as “an essential step forward,” and Folk Alley called it “masterfully crafted.”
Ross Livermore
Ross Livermore
Ross Livermore is a singer. More accurately, Ross Livermore is a SINGER. More accurately still, Ross Livermore has the kind of transcendent voice that silences rooms.

Not that he would admit any of this. The son of entrepreneurs and raised in blue-collar Peabody, Massachusetts, Livermore is no stranger to hard work, learning from an early age that “if you practice, put the time in and are honest with yourself, the music will find its rightful place.” It’s no surprise, then, that on Livermore’s latest EP, This Is Not Forever, he reveals a collection of songs that are brazenly honest and infused with a confidence born from years on the road. These early shows allowed Livermore to explore his full range of influences- from Incubus to Boyz II Men to Al Green- and it wasn’t long before the pursuit of new songs and stories led him to Nashville, TN.

Featuring an all-star band and recorded live to tape at Nashville’s famed Welcome to 1979, This Is Not Forever effortlessly combines ethereal soul-pop, classic R&B and Tedeschi/Trucks inspired blues. Like many of his heroes- Stevie Wonder chief among them- Livermore accomplishes the near impossible feat of channeling weight-of-the-world sensitivity through his powerful tenor while also maintaining steadfast hope and optimism.

“Put your money down and bet on me” encourages Livermore in the instantly memorable All About You. Embodying a consciousness transmitted from a more golden era, This Is Not Forever showcases a troubadour at the top of his game.

-- Trevor Larkin
Venue Information:
The Grey Eagle
185 Clingman Ave
Asheville, NC, 28801