Like many American musicians, across vastly diverse backgrounds, cultures and genres, singer-songwriter Cory Chisel forged his first connection to the power of song through the music he heard - and made - in church. His father was a Baptist pastor, his mother played piano during services, and an upbringing surrounded by sermons and spirituals instilled in Cory the passion and portent of language and melody, and a fluency in the gospel's rich vernacular of loss and redemption. He and his sister sang in the choir for years, and to this day, although his music exists completely within a secular context, Chisel feels a palpable connection between his own performing and the genuine theatrics of his father's preaching. The spirit, indeed, is willing. With his band, The Wandering Sons, this Appleton, Wisconsin-based prodigy has created a riveting debut, Little Bird, that lets forth a deep stream of insightful everyday poetry set against a spare, exquisitely rendered, Americana-saturated musical backdrop fusing roots rock, Delta blues, traditional country, ancient spirituals and more. There doesn't seem to be a word or note too many, or too few, in any of the disc's eleven original songs. The record emerges fully formed, and somehow familiar, as confident in its sonics as in its persistent echoes of existential grace and mystery.
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