The Wild Feathers at the 9:30 Club

Nashville's southern rockers the Wild Feathers perform at the 9:30 Club in DC. Photo: The Wild Feathers

WASHINGTON, October 24, 2013 — The Wild Feathers are a strong mixture that’s heavy on what can best be described as “Good Ole Boy” music. It’s no surprise to see that the band formed in Austin but now currently resides in Nashville, the point of convergence for the many musical genres whose origins arise from various points due South. During the Wild Feathers’ recent show at the 9:30 Club, it was easy to pick out the various styles they incorporate into their sound, all of which were wrapped in an affable and easygoing, aw-shucks charm that helps them easily ingratiate themselves with any audience.

The Wild Feathers’ major influences are country and southern rock with heavy doses of just pure rock and roll tossed in to make it interesting. That mix was easy to see during their set here, given the relatively up-tempo nature of their songs to each song’s strong storytelling. 

Wild Feathers is not a particularly fast playing band, but they never quite slow down either, hunkering down instead into a nice groove that weaves through each of their songs like invisible connective tissue.

It’s easy to see how the Wild Feathers are able to tie two genres—deeply rooted in American culture—together so easily, and it’s why this typifies them as what some call an American band. Yet oddly, they apparently aren’t fond of the term “Americana,” despite how well it actually fits them.

What drives a Wild Feathers show is the charm inherent in the southern ideal of rock and roll.  There’s a general simplicity in the way they play, which isn’t to say that their songs are simple or lack anything resembling complexity. What it does mean is that its easy to understand their artistic core. 

Their set here wasn’t particularly long, clocking in at a little over half an hour, so they didn’t really have time complicate matters when connecting with their audience. It doesn’t seem to be in their nature to do so. This is just straight rock and roll played with something of a twang, a concept that’s easily accessible and doesn’t need much explanation.

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A Wild Feathers set is straightforward and uncomplicated, something that’s striking as they riff through their songs, performing each one with an exceptional amount of youthful energy. They don’t seem interested in or capable of adopting that weathered style associated so much with Southern genres when they play. This works in their favor when they incorporate inherent pop sensibilities at key moments during their performance.

In short, Wild Feathers picks up on the tradition of southern rock, but adds enough unique, individualistic nuances to avoid sounding like they’re indebted to any single influence. They feel instead like a young band that’s building off decades of Southern rock traditions but turning the genre slightly on its ear as they move toward something new. That’s what makes shows like their recent 9:30 Club excursion so youthful and energetic yet also so familiar and rooted in tradition.


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Stephen Bradley

Stephen Bradley is an avid music listener and an occasional writer.  He grew up in the Washington DC area and has been embedded in the local music scene for years.  Currently he lives in Vienna, VA.   He enjoys bands that have been broken up for at least a decade.

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