When folks hang out with us in Nashville, talk can easily turn to our peers – fellow songwriters whom we like and whose ability we respect. Typically, however, there is one group that we simply gush over, a dynamic duo-turned-band that demonstrates some of the most creative songwriting we’ve heard in quite some time.
MBIRD centers around vocalist Megan Birdsall and guitarist Michael Andrew Smith, with brothers Ben and Matt Leifer rounding out the quartet on bass and drums, respectively. The majority of the group’s songs are produced by Megan and Michael, but with the shift of the duo into a band, the arrangement and sources for material have increased as of late.
Truly, no one out in the songwriting world is doing what MBIRD is doing in right in America’s heartland, and it’s very important to us what they do. The amount of raw power in the lyrics is enhanced further by the intricate arrangements and sheer depth of harmonic structure; this sort of stuff pushes the boundaries of what popular music is and will become in the next few generations.
Beyond everything else, however, is the inspiration of Megan Birdsall herself. Every day is a struggle through blinding pain as she deals with myriad health issues that have been plaguing her since we’ve known each other. Through it all, however, when you watch her perform on stage with MBIRD, or do a 4-hour set at Broadway Jazz Club, then – and only then – do you truly understand what real drive is. The effrontery and gall it takes to stand right up to the deepest of pain and dare to create some of the most beautiful music you will ever hear takes a courage and strength that is truly otherworldly.
The past few days have been a whirlwind of amazing music and powerful emotion as we reconnected with our dear friends in MBIRD (and made some new friends!), but we are forever grateful that we had the opportunity to share the stage with arguably some of the best songwriting we’ve had the privilege to hear and see.
Thank you, MBIRD, for giving us a renewed sense of purpose in our artistic pursuits; we’re looking forward to the next level you present to us in the music world! Visit us soon in Nashville!