Regular readers may recall me raving late last year about the self-titled debut album by Birds of Chicago, who comprise Allison Russell of Po' Girl and JT Nero of JT & The Clouds. Well I went to see them last night and am happy to report they are even better live than on record. They were both in fine voice and there was a friendliness and warmth about their performance that really drew you in.
The pair of them are supplemented on their current UK tour by the admirable Peter Mulvey - who opened the evening with an all too short solo set - and a drummer whose name I have forgotten but I am pretty sure his initials were WW. Possibly Wally Whyton or Willie Wonka. Anyway, he is not in the picture but Peter Mulvey is. That's him on the left.
Peter's latest album, "The Good Stuff", is a collection of covers, one of which he played as part of the band's set last night. Titled "Old Fashioned Morphine", he called it a Jolie Holland song. But I am not sure you can really call it her song when all she has done is taken the vintage gospel tune "Old Time Religion", crossed out "Religion" and written "Morphine" over the top in her best handwriting.
Here is the evidence. I have also bunged in Bunny Wailer's "Bald Head Jesus" because he sings a couple of verses of "Old Time Religion" at the end.
"Old Time Religion" - Melvin Lastie
"Old Fashioned Morphine" - Jolie Holland
"Bald Head Jesus" - Bunny Wailer
Here is some more old time religion.