Jeremy Lindsay to visit Ann Arbor for two-night gigWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Every time Jeremy Lindsay comes home to Toledo for a gig, he gets at least one pizza from The Original Gino’s Pizza.
“I even still have their number memorized in my head,” Lindsay said.
The Toledo native is one of two vocalists in Birds of Chicago, a project he created with his Chicago band JT & The Clouds and Allison Russell from the band Po’Girl. The band will play at The Ark in Ann Arbor on Feb. 17 and 18.
“It’s important to me that I get back to Toledo [at] the very least once a year,” Lindsay said. “I love it dearly there. Toledo’s a very music-rich area.”
Birds of Chicago’s self-titled 2012 release is mainly acoustic. All members of JT & The Clouds make an appearance in the credits, with Lindsay and Russell’s vocals on each track. The album includes the tracks “Trampoline,” “Cannonball” and “Flying Dreams.”
“[We are] lovers of what you call roots music,” Lindsay said. “Whether it’s blues or soul or old country … we both get inspired by those traditions.”
Russell and Lindsay developed a friendship working together in their former bands.
“Alli and I liked singing together so much, and it was just such a distinct thing, that about a year and a half ago we decided to give it its own stage and name,” Lindsay said. “Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on why it feels so much more natural and easy with one person as opposed to another,” Lindsay said. “You know when it happens, [and] you don’t want to lose it.”
Lindsay said that’s not the only thing the two have in common.
“We’re both crazy enough to want to be on the road 10 or 11 months of the year,” Lindsay said.
Lindsay started playing music in college with a jam band.
“That was my first taste of music in general,” Lindsay said. “I started really writing my own stuff and getting a better sense of the musician I was going to be when I … moved to San Francisco when I was 26. That’s when I started writing songs in a serious way.”
For the past couple of months, Lindsay and Russell have been touring the West Coast. He said he did some touring with JT & The Clouds, but not to this extent.
“We’re pretty much on the road all the time,” Lindsay said.
The current tour is presenting Birds of Chicago as a trio. Certain tour audiences get a smaller, acoustic show. Other dates get the full band experience.
“It’s nice because people get just a little bit of a different flavor,” Lindsay said. He said sometimes it’s intimate and other times the audience gets more of a groove from the performance.
“We like to have it both ways,” he said.
The show at The Ark will feature Birds of Chicago as a quartet. Lindsay said even though he hasn’t lived in Toledo for 15 years, he still loves coming back to perform. Lindsay said some of his earliest music memories are going to see indie bands at Frankie’s Inner-city.
“Anytime you’re in a homecoming situation, it’s special,” Lindsay said. “It’s important for us to come and let them know we’re not loafing out there. We’re trying to get better at what we do and do the hometown proud.”