HearYa Live Session 49: Horse Feathers

by Shirk on June 21, 2009

horse feathers live session

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.

Exclusive: Horse Feathers – Working Poor

Exclusive: Horse Feathers – Heathen’s Kiss

Exclusive: Horse Feathers – Curs In The Weeds

Exclusive: Horse Feathers – Rude To Rile

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.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

mrs. oz June 22, 2009 at 10:03 am

I got to see the sneak preview of the video this past weekend and I loved the band and the video! Great job!

Aaron Robert Hall June 22, 2009 at 3:35 pm

right on Justin! Dig the new lineup. Sounds beautiful!

Smansmith June 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Hurrah – the session is up! Thanks again HY, this is amazing.

Oz June 22, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I dig the foot tambo, Shirk. Doesn’t sound too loud to me. These guys are really amazing. Much greater appreciation for the musicianship when you see them live – a folk orchestra.

Sean June 22, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Thanks a ton, great session!

Just posted some pics, reviews, and videos (thank you iPhone 3G[S] ) to my blog of some June shows around SF… M. Ward, Little Joy, White Rabbits, Grizzly Bear, Here We Go Magic, etc. Been a killer month!

Keep it up man, who/when’s the next live session?

oz June 23, 2009 at 8:25 am

Sean – We’ve got lots of alt-country coming your way: Ha Ha Tonka, The Dexateens, The Devil Makes Three , Rock Plaza Central and These United States. Working on booking The Deep Dark Woods and The Builders and The Butchers now.

You can always keep up w/ the lineup here: http://www.hearya.com/live-sessions/

Sean June 24, 2009 at 8:55 am

Thanks, you guys are awesome. 🙂 just landed Bon Iver tix for sept at Oakland CA’s Fox Theatre… Any chance of getting Vernon and crew in?

oz June 28, 2009 at 6:53 pm

We’d love to have him. If he’s coming through Chi-town, we’ll be sure to invite him.

Woody July 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm

This is truly a brilliant session. I rarely get worked up over indie folk in a live setting. I like the knock down some cool ones and thrash around like I am a teenager. But Horse Feathers is absolutely mesmerizing live. I was knocked on my ass when we saw them live at Homeslice. Their arrangements are silly good!!!!

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