IF YOU GO
What: Paper Bird with Amber Fults
When: 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 31
Where: Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.
Don't let the appearance of Paper Bird's monstrous, 36-foot-long, black touring RV fool you. The Colorado-based roots band is pretty much harmless; some might even say joyful.
Why all smiles? Maybe it's the fact that the band fields an upbeat, harmonious trio of vocalists -- Genevieve Patterson, Esme Patterson and Sarah Anderson -- or that it was formed around a core of siblings and close friends. Either way, audiences tend to respond to the seven-piece ensemble's uplifting tone, says drummer Mark Anderson, who joined the group about two years ago.
"Especially at our live performances, we get that all the time, that, 'You all just look so happy,' and that's great," he says. "Onstage, we have a lot of fun, and I think, 'The more the merrier,' in a lot of ways."
Paper Bird first took wing about five years ago. It was the product of an informal group born during a weekend excursion into the Rockies that turned into a musical melting pot, then a busking group and, finally, a seasoned band that last fall earned a spot as openers for folk-rock darlings The Lumineers.
The band's roots-ensemble instrumentation and vintage sound has earned recognition in a number of outlets, including a nod from National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and three consecutive spots on the Denver Post's annual list of the Top 10 Best Underground Bands.
Wednesday, July 31, Paper Bird will make its Chattanooga debut at Rhythm & Brews on a two-band bill with local pop songstress Amber Fults.
Originally built around a string-band framework, Paper Bird initially was limited in its instrumental versatility, but once Anderson joined and took over rhythmic duties, the fetters came off. With this newfound flexibility during the last two years, the band that once embraced all things joyous now is delighting in exploring new territory.
That new direction is on full display in the band's fourth album, "Rooms," which was released in March and which Anderson describes as an evolution for the band.
"It was a transitional time, and it seems like, coming into this record, we stepped into the process of exploration to find our sound, and on this record, we did," he says. "We're stepping into more emotional and turbulent music, but it's something we all feel.
"We feel like we've stepped into something that is really powerful and has shaped what we want to do."
Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...