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Thanks to Rolling Stone magazine, I cannot lose the description that the popular publication made of Futurebirds, as a country-music act to catch at this year’s SXSW. A must-see act? For sure. Country-music band? Not exactly. Awesome indie-rock band with a southern-rock slant? Absolutely.

But credit to Rolling Stone for acknowledging how great the sextet from Athens, Georgia. Their debut album Hampton’s Lullaby introduced us to their southern-rock flair that made them a regional gem in the southern US. Their splendid sophomore record Baba Yaga further entrenched the band as one of the south’s emerging bands, following in the footsteps of My Morning Jacket with their psych-tinged indie-rock, blistering guitar solos, and frenetic live shows.

Despite the accolades, success and stardom, however, continue to elude Futurebirds. That may change with their third album, Hotel Parties. Unlike Baba Yaga which was more cryptic in its title (Baba Yaga is a monster from Slavic folklore while the album focused on the ups and downs of several relationships), Hotel Parties is more straightforward in its meaning – life of a young band that is constantly on the road. The album, however, isn’t so much about the exploits and experiences but rather the separation from reality, friends, and family by the repeated travels from coast-to-coast and back. This isolation could lead to the believing one is invincible, which is depicted on the swaggering southern-rocker “twentyseven”; feelings of loneliness, as sung on “Paranoia Letters”; or separation and anxiety revealed on the delirious, psychedelic, southern-rock tune “Xmas Drags”.

“Hotel Parties” rolls up all these feelings into one. This burner of a rock tune that echoes of a young Drive-by Truckers begins with a recollection of celebrating July 4th in Toronto, but it’s just one of many parties that the band has had in a hotel. However, it’s not exactly the type of parties you would have seen on Almost Famous and, yes, a band could tire of them. And a band could also tire of chasing the dream of achieving rock stardom at the expense of their relationships. The brilliant slow-rocker “Rodeo” describes the dilemma that many musicians face, especially a band like Futurebirds who has been on the endless highways for close to five years.

The neverending movement also changes relationships, which are emphasized on the dreamy “Paper Tongues”, the midtempo dream “Slow Talkerz”, and the anthemic and wildly infectious “Deadbeat Hits”. And with any relationship and distance apart, there is sorrow and remorse. On the superb finale, “Hard As You Like”, the band channels Tennessee Fire-era MMJ – a slow-building burner that hits the emotional and mind-blowing strings. The song is truly epic.

For a band that once upon a time had a hard time finding a label to release its records to now being exulted by the likes of Rolling Stone, Futurebirds will soon be more than a hidden gem. For long-time fans, we’ve witnessed them grow musically and as songwriters, and Hotel Parties, an album worthy of consideration among the year’s best, could be their ticket to resolving the dilemma expressed in “Rodeo”.

Hotel Parties is out now via Easy Sound Recording. Purchase it at the label’s store, iTunes, Amazon, and eMusic.

Website – www.futurebirdsmusic.com
Twitter – @Futurebirds
Instagram – @futurebirds

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Date Venue Location Tickets
Oct 01 Grimey’s Nashville, TN Free
Oct 02 Mercy Lounge w/ Susto Nashville, TN Tickets
Oct 03 Zanzabar w/ Avers Louisville, KY Tickets
Oct 04 Cosmic Charlie’s w/ Avers Lexington, KY Tickets
Oct 06 The Bishop w/ Harpooner Bloomington, IN Tickets
Oct 07 Southgate House w/ Harpooner Newport, KY Tickets
Oct 09 The Southern Cafe and Music Hall w/ Sleepwalkers Charlottesville, VA Tickets
Oct 10 Black Cat w/ Sleepwalkers Washington, DC Tickets
Oct 11 The Camel Richmond, VA Tickets
Oct 13 The Mothlight w/ Susto Asheville, NC Tickets
Oct 14 Revelry Room w/ Susto Chattanooga, TN Tickets
Oct 15 The Saturn w/ Tedo Stone Birmingham, AL Tickets
Oct 16 Montgomery Museum of Fine Art Montgomery, AL Tickets
Oct 22 Proud Larry’s w/ Sounds del Mar Oxford, MS Tickets
Oct 23 Martin’s w/ Young Valley Jackson, MS Tickets
Oct 24 One Eyed Jack’s New Orleans, LA Tickets
Oct 27 JR’s Lightbulb Club w/ Blank Range Fayetteville, AR Tickets
Oct 28 Riot Room w/ Blank Range Kansas City, MO Tickets
Oct 29 Rose Music Hall w/ Blank Range Columbia, MO Tickets
Oct 30 The Bootleg @ Atomic Cowboy w/ Blank Range St Louis, MO Tickets
Oct 31 Subterranean Lounge w/ Blank Range Chicago, IL Tickets
Nov 02 Beachland Tavern w/ Waylon Speed Cleveland, OH Tickets
Nov 03 The Basement w/ Waylon Speed Columbus, OH Tickets
Nov 04 Mohawk Place w/ Waylon Speed Buffalo, NY Tickets
Nov 05 Showcase Lounge, Higher Ground w/ Waylon Speed South Burlington, VT Tickets
Nov 06 Great Scott w/ Waylon Speed Allston, MA Tickets
Nov 07 Birdseye Lounge w/ Waylon Speed Portsmouth, NH Tickets
Nov 10 Iron Horse Music Hall w/ Waylon Speed Northampton, MA Tickets
Nov 12 Bowery Ballroom w/ Susto, Chris For… New York, NY Tickets
Nov 14 Parlor On Granby w/ Susto Norfolk, VA Tickets
Nov 19 Kings w/ Susto Raleigh, NC Tickets
Nov 20 Visulite Theatre Charlotte, NC Tickets
Nov 21 Music Farm w/ Hermits Victory Charleston, SC Tickets
Nov 27 Buckhead Theatre Atlanta, GA Tickets

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