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“I am wood, I am stone, I am stars, I am bone / I am blood, sweat, and tears, on a biosphere / I am home,” Whiskey Feathers’ Brittain Duckworth sings in his husky voice on his band’s debut album Stardust a Garden which came out a few weeks ago. Whiskey Feathers is a good name, because Brittain’s stand out voice is whiskey soaked and nature (like feathers, and fungi, oceans, and trees) plays a big role in their music, sharing themes with traditional country music, but perhaps something more like the songs of mountain men. What they call “roots music,” like Nathaniel Rateliff (whose voice he recalls) or Civil Wars before them.

“Yes, the future stops in 7 days / And the world ends, uh-huh,” they start the album on the track of the same name. Like many artists, they know how to get your attention from the get go, with their expert song construction and full-bodied performance. “So I woke up with a purpose / to live the last week of my life / Free and easy, and full of love / with you right by my side.” The record, as a whole, is an effort to get us to slow down and appreciate the wonderful world around us and the miraculous life that we get to live. 

“I was raised to worry, always in a hurry / I’m thinking about the next moment to come along instead of the one I’m in,” Brittain admits on the bopping, “Be Present”, and like many conscientious artists, when he plays with his band, he tries to get you to really feel the music and the message, instead of missing the magic of the moment. “By the fire light, it’ll all be right, and enchanted,” he sings on the single that’s been playing in regular rotation on Baltimore’s public radio station, WTMD. They’ve won the hearts of the region and will be taking the stage at WTMD’s first First Thursday with Joe P. and Eric Hutchinson in June of this year. 

Brittain is accompanied by some great female vocalists, Jenny Fitchett and Kyndal Gehlbach, and his band fills out the songs, romping and rockin’ and rollin’ creating a moody folk rock that sometimes (like on their single “Enchanted”) has a bit of a gothic feel, fit for Brittain’s emotion-filled voice. “There’s nothin’ wrong with seeing eye to eye / We’re all the same wood but a different grain,” he sings on a song urging his listeners to make the leap and follow their dreams, called “Change Your Stars.” It is a transformative album and has “classic debut record” written all over it. They’re making their way in the Maryland scene, but time will tell just how far of a reach they get, with their whiskey soaked rock n’ roll that goes down smooth. 


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