The Sheridan Arts Foundation presents Birds of Play with support from Sturtz live in concert at the historic Sheridan Opera House on Thursday, March 30 at 9:00 p.m., doors at 8:00 p.m. The Birds are celebrating the release of their newest LP, Murmurations Vol. 2. Listen to their music; then listen to more of their music!
Alex Paul (guitar, mandolin, vocals, songwriting) delivers his meditations upon the human condition in rough-hewn voice laced with wood-smoke and whiskey, the earnest lyricism speaking straight to the center of our shared humanity. Whether tipping their cap to Baroque British folk or indulging in languid sweetness of woozy blues, Murmurations Volume 1 rings true as a classic from the canon of folk music.
Paul and Jack Tolan (guitar, mandolin, vocals) have been playing music together for years. From the campfires of the Utah desert to the hostels of Argentina, they have shared a special musical compatibility. Tolan had the privilege of playing with Eric Shedd (bass, mandolin, guitar, vocals, musical director) around a campfire at Paul’s birthday soiree, and it was around that fire, somewhere deep in a canyon on the Colorado Plateau, the Birds of Play were born. Their debut album, Anthrophony, was released mid-summer 2019.
Anneke Dean (violin, vocals) started playing the violin at the age of 8. From the 6th-12th grade, she studied at Denver School of the Arts under Moscow String Quartet’s first violinist, Eugenia Alikhanova. While pursuing a degree at Chicago College of Performing Arts, she started exploring other genres. Dean met the Birds during the summer of 2020. She partook in her first tour with them that fall, officially becoming the fourth member.
The acoustic quartet – Andrew Sturtz [vocals, guitar], Jim Herlihy [banjo], Courtlyn Carpenter [cello, and Will Kuepper [bass]– falls somewhere at the intersection of folk and soul, with lead singer Andrew Sturtz’s melodic vocals soaring over the lower string instrumentals. Sturtz is based in Boulder, CO, and has toured across the U.S. opening for groups like the Eli Young Band, Trout Steak Revival, Lillie Mae, and Smooth Hound Smith. NPR’s All Songs Considered described the band as “a reassuring breath of fresh air that pulls me back to simpler times” in their April 2020 blog. Sturtz released their debut album “You’ve Done this Before” in August 2021, and now they are hard at work touring on this album and writing songs for their next album. When they’re not playing music, you’ll probably find them milling flour, farming, laying in a creek, or eating native foliage.