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The Wild Feathers Channel the Heartland on Debut - Album Premiere

Nashville rockers' self-titled album out August 13th

The Wild Feathers
Miriam Santos
August 9, 2013 8:00 AM ET

Nashville's Wild Feathers channel American rock spirit through-and-through on their solid, eponymous debut album, which drops August 13th on Warner Bros Records. Bringing to mind everyone from the Allman Brothers ("Hard Wind") to the Jayhawks ("Got It Wrong"), the five-piece band fuses the essentials of rock, country, folk and blues into an intriguing new approach.

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With their recent array of festival appearances, an ongoing trek supporting Willie Nelson and upcoming dates with ZZ Ward and at Austin City Limits, the Wild Feathers are already making a name for themselves. The album supports it, boasting the melodic rocker "American" and the chamber-pop-tinged "If You Don't Love Me."

Then there's "The Ceiling," the album's memorable first single, which has been a fixture of "The Baker's Dozen" on SiriusXM's The Spectrum for the past month. It's something that fans of heartland artists like the Avett Brothers and My Morning Jacket will appreciate while it recalls the magic of Tom Petty and Neil Young – acts the Wild Feathers grew up on, of course.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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