Jade Bird at Studio X

I didn’t get a chance to listen to any of Jade’s music before her performance today, so I was really going in blind. Jade and her band wrapped up their U.S. tour last night at Lincoln Hall, and performed a 5 song StudioX set at Schubas this afternoon. Jade’s debut album “Something American” came out in 2017 on the U.S. label Glassnote, despite the fact that the 21-year old Bird hails from Great Britain. Her voice falls somewhere between Janis Joplin and Edie Brickell, and although her style sits somewhere in between pop, alt-country and indie-rock, Rolling Stone magazine named her the ‘new country artist to watch’ in 2017.

The band got right down to business with “Good Woman”, offering a stabbing rhythm, soulful electric slide guitar, and Jade’s robust bluesy-yet-still-pop vocals- begging answers from her lover “Ooh, what were you thinking? / She’s cheaper than a dollar store version of me”.

Second up was Jade’s 2018 radio hit “Lottery” which really got me grooving. After the tune, Jade apologized for the condition of her voice, which she said was pretty shot after the long tour. (I’m not sure I would have noticed had she not said something.) The lyrical hook of the song “You used to tell me that / Love is a lottery / And you got your numbers / And you’re betting on me” is not necessarily spellbinding turn-of-phrase on its own, but when combined with Jade’s electric delivery (and a band that doesn’t quit) you end up with a pretty great tune.

After the song “Side Effects” with its sparse, flowing guitar chords and more great vocals, Jade took time out to chat with WXRT’s Ryan Arnold.

Jade promised two more songs, then launched into a cover of The Bangles’ 1986 hummer “Walk Like an Egyptian” which included a fair amount of crowd participation when the backup chants came along. I was happy to see her version of the homage on Spotify, recorded in London as an exclusive ‘Spotify Single’.

The band wrapped up with “Uh-Huh”, another one of Jade’s 2018 singles. Acoustic guitar intro that launches into a pretty good rock tune featuring Jade’s electrifying vocals.

Hear the songs Jade played, along with other bands/songs from secret shows on my continually growing WXRT/Goose Island StudioX Spotify Playlist.

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