Southern band brings Americana sound to SoCal

by Jack Haworth, Conrtibuter

In a music culture dominated by electronic producers and auto-tuned superstars, a small band from Nashville is on a mission to bring back good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. The band calls itself The Wild Feathers.

Last Wednesday, Sep. 3, The Wild Feathers brought its Americana sound to the closing day of the Del Mar race track. Playing before a diverse crowd of horse-racing patrons in an intimate setting, the band brought down the house from start to finish.

The Wild Feathers released their first self-titled album in 2013, which features 12 songs that blend elements of rock, country, and blues. The band is comprised of Ben Dumas on the drums and four lead singers: Taylor Burns, Ricky Young, Preston Wimberly and Joel King.

There are very few bands around today with four lead singers, and The Wild Feathers has used this to its advantage. Whether it comes to songwriting or singing powerful harmonies on stage, this group struck gold by coming together to create a vocal powerhouse.

“We were all ready to play something different,” guitarist and lead singer Ricky Young said.

The band came roaring out of the gates with Taylor Burns belting out the words to their song “Hard Wind” before the guitar-heavy chorus got the crowd moving. The band kept the tempo going by smoothly transitioning into their next song “I’m Alive.” This time it was bassist Joel King delivering the opening line of the song: “Don’t tie me down just set me free.”

That line describes The Wild Feathers as the band hasn’t been pigeonholed into a specific genre. Instead, this group has been able to blend its different backgrounds to make a fresh new sound.

“From our background, we tried to do what we naturally do and it’s really worked out for us,” Young said.

Throughout their hour-and-a-half set, The Wild Feathers continued to rock the crowd by playing over ten songs off their recent album, as well as several crowd-pleasing covers. Those covers included Led Zeppelin’s “Hey Hey What Can I Do?” Tom Petty’s classic “Listen to Her Heart” and a rousing rendition of The Band’s hit “The Weight.”

The always-changing dynamic of the band makes this group truly unique with a different lead singer stepping up for each new song. This was best exemplified when each sang a different verse of “The Weight,” and later all harmonized together for its chorus.

This five-man band truly has a way of captivating its audience’s attention. On Wednesday night, concert-goers both young and old sang and danced along to The Wild Feathers’ strong performance. When asked about their crowd pleasing shows, Young simply said, “It seems like for us, the harder we work the more turn-out we get.”

Even after their successful live shows, The Wild Feathers do not stop working. When the band isn’t touring the country, they are writing and recording.

“We are always writing new stuff and have about two records worth of new material,” Young said when discussing the band’s future.

The future looks very bright for the group who ended the night rocking out with its biggest hit to date, “The Ceiling.” Their heart-pounding drums, powerful guitar riffs and four strong voices make The Wild Feathers one of the most compelling live acts today. And their exciting music keeps live rock ‘n’ roll feeling truly special.