With this year’s Greetings From the Neon Frontier, the Wild Feathers planted their feet on both sides of the country-rock border, mixing amplified guitars and road-dog ruggedness with the soothing salve of their three-part harmonies. It’s fitting, then, that the band will wrap up a busy 2018 by hitting the highway with Brothers Osborne, another group rooted in Southern sounds and rock & roll influences.
Few songs from Neon Frontier crystallize the band’s Seventies-leaning approach more than “No Man’s Land.” Stacked high with hooks and harmonies, the song finds the Wild Feathers in a homesick mood, longing to ditch “these city streets [that] don’t sleep” and return to more rural landscapes. For a band that built its career on the road, “No Man’s Land” is something different: a tribute not to the touring lifestyle, but to the homes that refuel each bandmate between gigs.
Appropriately, the video above finds the Wild Feathers performing an unplugged version of “No Man’s Land” at home in Nashville. The clip was recorded in the upper deck of the Ryman Auditorium, overlooking the 2,362 seats that were all occupied during the taping of the band’s concert album, Live at the Ryman, in 2016. Featuring a hand-drummed groove from Ben Dumas and mandolin from honorary member Brett Moore, “No Man’s Land” highlights the harmonies of Taylor Burns, Ricky Young and Joel King. The result is a breezy, unforced ode to a back-to-basics existence, captured with nothing more than two microphones.
“This song represents the idea of returning to a simple life and getting away from the things that get in the way of true happiness,” says King, who handles the band’s high harmonies. “We wrote it on acoustic guitars, and it felt fitting to play the song in its purest form at the Ryman, a place we have all escaped to many times as fans.”
The Wild Feathers’ tour with Brothers Osborne kicked off this week in Spokane, Washington, and heads to Canada tonight. They’re also part of the lineup at the 2019 Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California.