Birds of Chicago bring their highly anticipated album 'Love in Wartime' to The Ark on Saturday

By Matt Giles - Associate Producer

Allison Russell and JT Nero, better known as Birds of Chicago (Credit: Yve Assad)

ANN ARBOR - The husband and wife team of JT Nero and Allison Russell -- better known as the Americana, rock n roll duo Birds of Chicago -- will perform music from their upcoming full-length album "Love in Wartime" on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at The Ark. 

"Love in Wartime" was recorded in Chicago what the band calls "A rock and roll suite with a cinematic sweep." The album evokes epic efforts of the '60s and '70s, with love as the undeniable throughline. As Russell put it: "Any act of love is an act of bravery. These songs are snapshots of covenants, big and small, of trust and understanding. We want to give people some good news, and we want them to be able to dance when they hear it."

Not only do the Birds attract a mix of indie rockers, NPRists, jam-kids and folkies to their gigs, they're also very enthusiastic about playing a gig in Ann Arbor. "I grew up in Toledo, Ohio, 45 minutes south of Ann Arbor, and spent my teen years sneaking up to both Ann Arbor and Detroit to go to shows, clubs and to get mega doses of culture," Nero said by email.

"When I got turned on to roots music in my early '20s, I discovered what a Mecca the Ark was for roots, folk etc. I saw Gillian Welch open for Guy Clark there in ‘98 and dreamed of singing on that stage one day, so having the chance to do so is a good dream come true, and we don’t take it lightly." 

"Love in Wartime" will be released on May 4 and the first single, “Roll Away,” highlights everything that critics loved about Birds of Chicago's 2016 album, "Real Midnight." Don't miss your chance to see them perform music that The Ark calls "melancholy but never shoe-gazing; raw and soul-rich." 

To learn more about Birds of Chicago, visit To see the full list of The Ark's upcoming shows, visit

Check out more Ann Arbor events on the A4 Community Calendar 

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