Quietly ambitious, confident, assured. Birdsong At Morning debuted with a 4CD box set entitled, Annals of My Glass House in 2011. The lustrous sounds and gorgeous packaging garnered rave reviews and airplay across the country and served as a prelude to the expansive vision evidenced on the band’s new album, A Slight Departure.
Led by singer/songwriter Alan Williams, along with compatriots Darleen Wilson (guitar) and Greg Porter (bass), and a host of new and old collaborators, Birdsong At Morning creates elegant tapestries of sound, words, and music.
Now based in Lowell, Massachusetts, birthplace of Jack Kerouac, Bette Davis, and the American industrial revolution, the band Birdsong At Morning is part of a growing community of artists and musicians, inspired by heritage and the spirit of renewal evidenced all around them. Thought-provoking and soul-baring, their music reflects the solid foundation of the still standing brickwork, and the warmth of the beating hearts within.
Formed in 2008, the band began as an exercise in resurrecting long dormant musical energies. Williams and Porter had gone to the New England Conservatory of Music, then played together in several groups, notably the star-crossed folk-rock ensemble, Knots and Crosses. Porter was a founding member of Talking To Animals, before playing for Aimee Mann and Patty Griffin, among others. Wilson established herself as a groundbreaking recording engineer in Boston, working with a broad spectrum of artists from punk (Salem 66), to pop (New Kids On The Block), before becoming the pre-eminent producer of New England singer/songwriters – Bill Morrissey, Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis, Chris Smither.
During the long period between the demise of Knots and Crosses—a demise precipitated by their calamitous signing with Island Records—and the formation of Birdsong At Morning, Williams embarked on parallel careers in music production and academia. He served as musical director for Dar Williams and engineered a number of records for Patty Larkin, while earning a PhD in Ethnomusicology from Brown University. He is currently an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and has published several scholarly chapters and journal articles, all while maintaining a presence as a creative, performing musician.
The depth of experience present in every aspect of the band’s work helps to explain the professional quality that exists in this totally DIY project. The band releases its own records, designs its packaging, and does much of the engineering and musical production work. Of course, like many indie-minded endeavors, Birdsong At Morning is assisted by extraordinarily talented friends – long-time collaborative partner Ben Wittman (Paula Cole, Laurie Anderson, The Story) plays drums, and the new album was recorded with David Minehan (The Neighborhoods, Paul Westerburg, Aerosmith) at his studio, Woolly Mammoth Sound. Patty Larkin has been a constant supporter of the band from the start, asking the group to contribute performances to her last two albums, 25 and Still Green, and has invited Alan to open shows for her across the country.
The band performs in many configurations, and is planning a long-term residency in a warmly intimate venue in Lowell, where each week a different cast of musicians will bring the music of Birdsong At Morning to life. We look forward to sharing the experience!