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Re-Viewed: Hummingbiird at Martyr's

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 21, 2006 4:28PM

Sunday night we walked over to Martyr's to help celebrate Chicago's vibrant music scene with the Hawk Winter Music Festival. It was just another night here in Chicago where live music was played and appreciated by a city full of music lovers. This particular evening there were several talents on tap: Alison Breitman, BFF, Cracklin' Moth, Hummingbiird and Justin Sconza.

A few impressions regarding the show... Alison Breitman is definitely one to watch. She has a fantastic voice and we are looking forward to hearing more from this young lady. We especially enjoyed it when she joined Cracklin' Moth on stage. BFF did the four-piece old time pickin' party thang very well. And then for something completely different - Hummingbiird took the stage. (This quartet was Pedal Steel Transmission in a previous life.)

Hummingbiird's wall of sound and near perfect blend of indie and classic rock starkly contrasted the previous acts' country twang informality. The show's line up made more sense once we downloaded Hummingbiird's self-titled album which prominently features the pedal steel guitar sound moreso than their live act did.

Music snobs the internet over have been lamenting the death of rock-n-roll, that there is no new sound to take us by storm, and that everything is derivative nowadays, but this snob feels that Hummingbiird is one of those rare bands that has been able to mix their diverse musical influences and blend them into a sound of their own instead of just mimicking them. (For how diverse those influences really are: we heard Pixies, Grant Lee Buffalo and The Stones. They say Buffalo Springfield, Yo La Tengo and Velvet Underground.) Standout songs from the show were "No Need To Go" and "Speak Softly" from the self-titled album.

Chicagoist thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and walked away with yet another local band to watch, which is exactly what we think the League of Chicago Music Venues had in mind with this festival in the first place .