Wednesday night, Athens, Georgia’s Futurebirds brought their brand of country-rock to The Echo. Playing mostly songs from their 2015 record Hotel Parties, though the venue wasn’t sold out, it was filled with fans passionate for their tunes.
One interesting thing I found while watching this band is how they alternate vocals between their three main members, though Carter King often takes the lead. They all have slightly different vocals and it gives their songs a different flavor depending on who heads the mic – though the others usually share harmonies in backup duties.
If you’re a fan of Dawes, this band is right up your alley. On some songs, like old cut “Tan Lines,” King’s vocals sound a tad like Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler. When the group layers their vocals, it sounds similar to the male voices in The Head & The Heart.
Of the songs they played from their latest record, “twentyseven” was my favorite. “I’ve been losing a friend a week trying to make a martyr out of me,” sings Payton Bradford, who pulls lead vocals on the track.
Later in the set, “Heart Attack Blues” featured some nice harmonies that had a group next to me dancing enthusiastically. In between songs they received a lot of vocal support and their hour-long set went well with a pint or three of beer on a Wednesday night.
After seeing them perform, it is easy to see how they’ve opened for bands like Widespread Panic, Drive-By Truckers and Blitzen Trapper. They do a great job of revving up a crowd. Check out their reverb-drenched tunes when they come to your town.
Words: Mark E. Ortega
Photography: Manuel Domínguez