The Devil Music Interviews Birdseed’s Kerry Landreth

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“Kerry Landreth is lead singer and songwriter for the San Francisco rock band Birdseed, whose recently-released 10” EP Not Out of Time the Reverend found quite impressive, writing that “Not Out of Time is one of those rare treasures that will take 20 years or so for rock music’s critical cognoscenti to catch up with.” Comprised of singer Landreth, guitarists Jamie Goodyear and Mason Morfit, bassist Lane Murchison, keyboardist Brian Hetherington, saxophonist Peter Landreth, and drummer Scott Bell, Birdseed delivers “grown-up rock ‘n’ roll from an adult’s perspective, with lyrics forged in the crucible of life.”

After my review of Not Out of Time was published, Birdseed guitarist Mason Morfit got in touch. He kindly hooked me up via email with Landreth for the following Q5 interview and she graciously took time out of her schedule to answer a few questions about the best band that you’ve haven’t heard (yet).

Q1. What originally got you interested in singing and music?

I grew up surrounded by music – I lived in London during Andrew Lloyd Weber’s heyday and sang songs from musicals in my living room every night. I sang in an a capella group and a band at Exeter, and then in an a capella group at Stanford. Joining Birdseed was a joyful revisit of the things I loved most. I’d beaten breast cancer in 2010-11 and going through that was as transformative as you’d imagine. Except my version of taking the “cancer lesson” wasn’t to slow down, it was to speed up.

Luckily I fell in with the right group of musicians – we were all at a point in our lives where we’d lived enough to know what was important to us. And to our surprise and delight, we found we write great music about it. My cancer came back in 2015, which created a sense of urgency. Musically, things ignited. We started writing, recording, and playing live with a vengeance.

Q2. Who are your musical and songwriting influences?

Sheryl Crowe, Natalie Merchant, Ray LaMontagne, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, and J.J. Cale.

Q3. Why compile Birdseed’s singles onto vinyl rather than CD, and why a 10″ EP?

For the same reason we are writing music about people our age. It’s for the generation who grew up loving vinyl.

Q4. Why record and release singles rather than a full-length album?

We record them as soon as we write them (and inspiration only comes when it comes). We are so excited to share them with our friends that we can’t hold anything back for a LP. Most of the fun is from sharing this stuff.

Q5. Has the band been approached by any labels, or would y’all prefer to keep doing your records yourselves?

We signed early to Bird Records because of how cool the Bird school and studio are. That place brought music to all of our kids. Most of them now play music and have been in bands. We are an independent group of people and independent label makes sense for us.” Related content: Birdseed’s Not Out of Time EP review

www.thatdevilmusic.com

Order NOT OUT OF TIME on iTunes:

 http://smarturl.it/notoutoftime

BIRDSEED will be touring in the Fall of 2017 in support of their NOT OUT OF TIME 10” Vinyl EP, which is available worldwide online and in stores August 4, 2017.

For more information about BIRDSEED and the NOT OUT OF TIME EP, or upcoming tour dates, please visit the band’s website and social media pages via www.birdseedband.com

For more information about Bird School of Music please visit http://bird-sf.com/

To order the NOT OUT OF TIME EP, please visit the Bird Records Bandcamp page at https://birdrecordingfoundation.bandcamp.com/

For Press and Interview inquiries, please contact Billy James at Glass Onyon PR at (828) 350-8158 or glassonyonpr@gmail.com

For Digital Marketing, please contact Jerome Forney at Independent Distribution Collective at jerome@independentdistro.com

That Devil Music Review: Birdseed “Not Out Of Time”

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“Creating music that is too good, and too authentic for major label release, Birdseed’s Not Out of Time EP is one of those rare treasures that will take 20 years or so for rock music’s critical cognoscenti to catch up with. Grade: A

“Even for a jaded old rock critic like the Reverend, every now and then the blue-clad U.S. postman delivers a gem whose sparkle and gleam catches one’s eye. One such recording that muscled itself to the top of the slush pile amidst faceless modern rock clones and carbon-copy pop divas was Birdseed’s Not Out of Time. While promotional copies of vinyl records arrive more frequent these days (jeez, there was a time in the early ‘00s where wax was nearly extinct!), the diminutive younger sibling of the LP – the oddball 10” EP – is still a rarity though, to be honest, I have bought in EPs by Jimi Hendrix and Marshall Crenshaw in this 10” vinyl format recently.

Birdseed’s Not Out of Time
Birdseed is an honest-to-Chuck-Berry American rock band formed in 2012 in San Francisco. Comprised of singer Kerry Landreth, guitarists Jamie Goodyear (who also sings) and Mason Morfit, bassist Lane Murchison, keyboardist Brian Hetherington, saxophonist Peter Landreth, and drummer Scott Bell, Birdseed’s Not Out of Time EP collects five of the band’s songs that had previously been released as singles. Although the band’s sound has been described as “Fleetwood Mac meets Wilco,” there’s really a lot more than these convenient labels going on here.

The EP’s title track, for instances, offers Landreth’s throaty, slightly-twangy vocals which remind more of the Textones’ Carla Olsen than of Stevie Nicks. Roaring above country-flavored soundtrack that follows a jangly Byrdsian blueprint, the song’s accompanying harmony vocals, stinging guitars, and rumbling percussion provide an encouraging introduction to the band. “Next Trip Around the Sun” is unexpectedly stunning, Landreth’s voice channeling no little emotional turmoil above a low-slung rhythmic groove, her brother Peter’s mournful sax offering a masterful counterpoint to Landreth’s dark-to-light lyrics.

The newest song on the EP, “I Want You To Know” is a mid-tempo ballad with Landreth’s lovely voice complimented by elegant fretwork and subtle instrumentation. Lyrically a poignant letter from a parent to their child, it’s a well-crafted tearjerker. The inspirational “We Can Do It” was co-written by Landreth and her nine-year-old daughter Bebe, the song’s hopeful message bolstered by strong-though-subdued instrumentation that rightfully places the spotlight on the lyrics. Peter Landreth’s soul-flavored sax and some impressive Steve Cropper-style guitar provide additional texture to the performance. “More Than I Needed the Truth” addresses personal relationships from a mature perspective, Landreth’s twangy vocals partially-buried in a gorgeous, multi-faceted soundtrack with a too-brief guitar solo and melodic harmonies.

The Reverend’s Bottom Line
This ain’t your kid’s music, Birdseed delivering grown-up rock ‘n’ roll from an adult’s perspective, with lyrics forged in the crucible of life. Birdseed’s members were older than most bands when they got together, and most – if not all of ‘em – are parents, with all the headaches and heartaches parenthood entails. Birdseed’s lyrics are informed by Kerry Landreth’s struggle with incurable breast cancer, but are hopeful rather than dire, while the band’s instrumental talents provide a suitable backdrop for her skilled vocals. Creating music that is too good, and too authentic for major label release, Birdseed’s Not Out of Time EP is one of those rare treasures that will take 20 years or so for rock music’s critical cognoscenti to catch up with. Grade: A (Bird Records, released August 4th, 2017)

Buy the EP from Bandcamp: Birdseed’s Not Out of Time EP

www.thatdevilmusic.com

Order NOT OUT OF TIME on iTunes:

 http://smarturl.it/notoutoftime

BIRDSEED will be touring in the Fall of 2017 in support of their NOT OUT OF TIME 10” Vinyl EP, which is available worldwide online and in stores August 4, 2017.

For more information about BIRDSEED and the NOT OUT OF TIME EP, or upcoming tour dates, please visit the band’s website and social media pages via www.birdseedband.com

For more information about Bird School of Music please visit http://bird-sf.com/

To order the NOT OUT OF TIME EP, please visit the Bird Records Bandcamp page at https://birdrecordingfoundation.bandcamp.com/

For Press and Interview inquiries, please contact Billy James at Glass Onyon PR at (828) 350-8158 or glassonyonpr@gmail.com

For Digital Marketing, please contact Jerome Forney at Independent Distribution Collective at jerome@independentdistro.com