Show Review: The Falling Birds


Spring has arrived early, if only for a moment! Well, New Yorkers will have to wait and see how long it will last before the last throes of winter break through. However, the chilly weather remained strong during the week prior. For listeners in downtown Manhattan braving the blistering cold, many were determined to make their way to Rockwood Music Hall in celebration of the release of the new EP, ‘What Is There To Talk About?’ by the blues rockers, The Falling Birds. Blues and warmth came hand in hand that evening for many who were seeking it. Not only was it a night of frivolity, the music experience itself was sublime to say the least.  

Fan rushed to Stage Two to beat the oncoming crowds and to get toasty right away from the biting winds. Many were forced to linger outside the entrance as the band beforehand finished their set. For some reason the bouncers were not letting The Falling Birds’ fans in early. This prompted quite a few to shrug and head over to the bar next door to wait patiently. Finally, access was granted and some folks received some hard copies of the EP that were immediately shoved back into their coat pockets. The duo, Stephen Artemis and David Burton, quickly began to set up on stage and were given a ton of support from their friends as cheers belched out all the while. Holding true to their style, the men were emblazoned in their trademarked red, plaid flannel shirts. On stage were a series of amplifiers to really give their sound a punch later on. David’s drum set had multiple floor toms to add onto their music, which intrigued new visitors of their craft. They were quick to set up and the lights eventually dimmed to officially start off the night.

Cheers welcomed the men as the mild thrumming of Stephen’s guitar was unleashed. It was a cacophony of sounds and blasts of grinding blues. Even from the inception, there was hair swaying madness. A blues waltz of rock made Mr. Artemis’ vocals blend in seamlessly to the twangs that followed on his white blues guitar. Both men naturally used all of the tools in their musical arsenal. Case in point, David never spared a section of his drum set with a constant grin on his face pounding with immense satisfaction. Stephen’s slide guitar skills were quick and offered equally great licks. Their flow was fluid but always transitioned in smooth grace among different stylization of the blues genre. For example, their trend usually hung in the grunge-blues realm. Alongside that transition there was obvious and infectious energy that came from the duo. That energy was shared among the audience as smiles and dancing reverberated right back.

Bouncing blues finally popped in and the pounding of the drums were overwhelmed by the guitar licks. Each man was intricately detailed with their instrument. They used stormy rhythm and intense but focused beats. Both musicians often had their eyes closed as they entered their musical moments of zen. Emotion on their faces grew as they contorted with feeling. A slight whirring from the amplifiers in the back never seemed to stop and was only really heard when the men took things down for a bit. Intimacy was welcomed. An alternative route was taken and the fans began to dance with more vigor. Stephen showcased his musical prowess when his harmonica helmed the ship for this alternative-blues segment. A slow and somber ballad held the ears of listeners. It was for all of the lovers.

David gave a groovy drum solo bit, making sure to use all of the drum heads when he could. Despite the musical experience at hand, excited chatter among the crowd remained throughout. That did not dampen the spirit of the two musicians as they continued to keep that beat and force alive. It never went away or was rendered silent. Each song had a climatic ending of worthwhile thrills. David brought out a jimglemute and his drum skills were elevated even more alongside the roaring alternative-blues. It was oily and murky with pleasure for fans who would be jamming into the wee hours of the night.

The Falling Birds gave listeners prime lumberjack-rustic blues to enjoy for the ages. Their dedication and explosive power match their music well. Blues never sounded so fresh and original as with this duo. Stephen and David have successfully placed their own flair to the genre that will only make the music world expand with musical flexibility.

Jam on.