I first heard of Horse Feathers when they opened for Blitzen Trapper at Schubas last fall.‚ The music was stunning and the crowd shut up and listened quietly to the entire set.‚ Fast forward a few months to a sunny Friday morning at SXSW, and I’m sitting with the HearYa crew in gravel at Homeslice Pizza watching Horse Feathers kick off our day.‚ Again, the crowd quickly shut up and listened. Fast forward a few more months and I found Horse Feathers at Schubas for the first of two sold out shows with Joe Pug.‚ Once again, the show was exceptional and the crowd took notice.‚ After a few too many beers and a couple of shots, I decided to head home because Horse Feathers was coming into my studio at 11am the following morning.
I showed up to the studio with a headache, reminding myself I am no longer in my 20′s.‚ Justin, Nathan, Catherine, and Sam rolled ina few minutes later, coffee in hand an ready to go.‚ We positioned the mics and cameras and got rolling.‚ Their music is awesome and seeing them pull it off in an intimate setting like this was something to behold.‚ Justin’s voice is smooth as silk and the band delivers an incredible dynamic behind him.‚ Every time I looked up from the control room, somebody was picking up a new instrument to add to a part, mid-song.‚ Nathan’s performance on the saw during “Heathen’s Kiss” gives such a dark and haunting texture, while Sam throws the kitchen sink at the music from banjo, mandolin and violin to percussion and glockenspiel.
I had my hands full for this session, covering both audio and camera-switcher duties, so it took me a song to get things under control. I missed a few things in the process.‚ You’ll notice Justin’s floor tambourine is a bit cutting and loud, especially on “Working Poor.” Like hi-hats in a drum kit, a little goes a long way and this tambourine went ALL the way.‚ These are live sessions though and you can’t control all the variables. Sometimes you just gotta deal with it.‚ I was tempted to say something after the first take, but instead I thought twice and did what everyone should do when seeing Horse Feathers. I just shut up and listened.
Download the Horse Feathers Session as a zip.
Video: Horse Feathers – Heathen’s Kiss
See the rest of the videos from our session with Horse Feathers on our the HearYa YouTube Channel.