The first lines of Neil Young's "Out on the Weekend" long for packing up and moving on, which precisely describes fall for me. This time of year is the embodiment of transition, as warm weather leaves and the impending doom of icy cold looms.
The most appealing thing about this San Francisco-based, all-female group is its range. Blame Sally's folk sound comes through on its cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Never Going Back Again," but the band also mixes rock, blues, country and funk.
Corralled from front porches, basement couches and backyard bonfires around Athens, Ga., the six fellas that comprise Futurebirds seem to have an appreciation for the rich, southern gothic, independent music history their hometown has birthed (see R.E.M., the Elephant Six Collective and Drive-By Truckers).
With nods to the Dillards and the Dead, Alabaster Brown plays country rock with some curling banjo, smooth harmonies and even honky tonk piano, all jamming together but somehow staying focused on the song.
Though critics have compared Stephen Simmons to Steve Earle and Ryan Adams, the Tennessee-based singer and songwriter has an honest, clear-eyed way of seeing the world that's very much his own. Simmons joined Feel Like Going Home for conversation and a trio of stripped-down songs.