IF YOU GO
What: Nightfall concert series featuring The Wild Feathers.
When: 8 p.m. today; Glowing Bordis opens at 7 p.m.
Where: Miller Plaza, corner of M.L. King Boulevard, Market and Cherry streets.
Glowing Bordis is a local indie rock three-piece formed by ex-Up With the Joneocalist TJ Greever and guitarist Dan "Danimal" Pinson with former Hopsing Project drummer Jonathan Susman. For more information, visit www.glowingbordis.com.
For a newly formed band, there are few things more discouraging than having a relationship with a record label falling apart.
While doing showcase work in Los Angeles, the four members of Austin, Texas-based roots-rock outfit The Wild Feathers attracted the attention of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Interscope Records.
With work on writing material well under way, however, the band's relationship with the label soured, and the musicians were cut loose. It was a tough time, said guitarist/vocalist Ricky Young.
"We were almost done with the record and had been promised the world, and they let us go," Young said. "We were at a super-low place."
From the bottom of that emotional well, Young said, the band drew on the continued support of its management and booking agent.
And just as quickly as they fell, The Wild Feathers rose again.
They signed with a new label, Warner Bros. Records, which quickly put them to work. Young said he and his bandmates recently emerged from a strenuous two-week recording stint with Nashville producer Jay Joyce and are feeling better than ever.
If any one moment could be seen as a turning point, however, it would have to be when the band went out on the road last fall with songwriting legend Paul Simon, Young said.
"Our agent ... called and said, 'Hey, what do you think about doing a Paul Simon tour?' We thought it was a joke," Young said. "It was like this breath of fresh air, the wind coming back into our sails."
Throughout the ups and downs of the last two years, however, Young said, he has always been able to rely on his bandmates. Their personal friendships and shared influences in artists such as Willie Nelson, The Band, Bob Dylan and The Allman Brothers have kept them tight through times that might have created a schism in other groups, he said.
Tonight, The Wild Feathers will take the stage as the headliner of this week's Nightfall concert (replacing originally scheduled act The Apache Relay).
The band relies heavily on its members' vocal harmonies, much like the ensemble of vocalists in The Band. That group's passionate delivery with slight vocal imperfections was hugely inspirational and something the Feathers can't help but emulate, Young said.
"Those [rough edges are] definitely one of our characteristics," he said, laughing. "We try and figure it out. We're not perfect singers, and that's OK because we don't like [perfection] anyway.
"We like good songs, and if it sounds good, it sounds good."
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...