“At what time do you know you’re supposed to go to the dentist?”
“Tooth-hurty,” I say. There’s an awkward silence; I’ve managed to wreck the joke. Alyssa Rieper is still fiddling with tuning her guitar, so Adelyn Strei and Jana Swanson try again.
“Okay, at what time is someone else supposed to go to the dentist?”
“Tooth-hurty Too!” someone shouts back. There are about eight of us in this Milwaukee coffee house I’d never heard of called Brewing Grounds, and we’re all here to see this great little female folk trio Feathe. Did I mention there’s an accordion? That should have gotten your attention.
Right. They’re ready for the rest of the set. And what a set it turns out to be. The three-part singing harmonies and the beautiful guitar/accordion/snare drum arrangements these girls have created and share with this small handful of people should not be missed by anyone. Hailing from the small-but-beautiful town of Eau Claire, Wisconsin (hometown of Justin Vernon, of Bon Iver fame), these three bring to the table more talent than expected of your typical college folk group.
With the release of their second EP Flora, the band set off for a (possible) farewell tour across the country with nothing but a compact car, their instruments, and a boatload of ambition. But hey, you’d have a boatload of ambition too if two of your best friends wanted to take a road trip across the country with you.
The three put on a great show, to say the least. There was no stage or gear preventing the audience from sitting about 5 feet away as the band played on until the sun set in the background. Add in some clever banter between tuning breaks, and you’ve got yourself one of the most one-on-one (three-on-eight?) concert experiences ever. Though I suppose having the band escort the entire audience to the nearest McDonald’s for post-show snacks certainly helped add to the personal experience as well.
So if you find yourself in a coffee shop hosting a trio of girls, and the name of this trio happens to be Feathe, then buy another drink and sit yourself down because you’re in for a treat. Otherwise you’ll just have to settle with downloading their music (and for free I might add) over at their official website here.