Allison Russell and JT Nero were deeply invested in other projects — Russell with Po’ Girl, Nero with JT & the Clouds — when they decided to collaborate in 2012. Nero penned new lyrics for Russell, and the duo, joined by a rotating cast of musicians, quickly gained critical acclaim as Birds of Chicago. The band’s sound takes the traditional tenets of gospel and soul and gives them a modern, secular update. The result is classic meets contemporary, a sound that’s best appreciated live. Luckily, the pair deliver just that with more than 200 shows annually. The group recently finished recording its latest album, Love in Wartime with co-producer Luther Dickinson. Though the record won’t be released until the fall, Birds of Chicago will play some of the new tunes at Isis Music Hall on Thursday, April 6, at 8:30 p.m. $15. isisasheville.com. Photo by Natalie Ginele Miller
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