You may have noticed the Abbey Theatre has had a load of music this last week. Thank the Abbey Avalanche Music
Festival, a weeklong run of shows celebrating the one-year anniversary of new ownership at the Abbey. The bill thus far
has included bluegrass, swing and roots rock. The festival continues tonight with local songstress Gigi Love and the
Durango return of an up-and-coming Austin band in the blues-rock realm, Wisebird.
Wisebird is Dave Meservy on drums and vocals, Trevor Nealon on keyboards and vocals, Will Webster on guitar and Joe
Beckham on bass.
Wisebird began as a band playing in Salt Lake City, but relocated to Austin, Texas, a little over a year ago.
It hasn't looked back, quickly diving headfirst into all the music offerings the city has to offer.
When we first moved here, I think for three solid months we went out every night and had our minds blown every
night," said Meservy last week from his home in Austin. There's a lot of history here, and it's inspired a whole new
side of our band as far as writing and performing goes."
It's hard to classify the musical identity that defines Austin. The city boasts bluegrass and country, jam and indie
rock, rockabilly and Western swing, along with random throwback bands. Wisebird isn't a throwback band, but it often
gets comparisons with bands whose heyday was 40 years ago, a time long before the members of this quartet were born.
Maybe it's the blues-inspired rock with a funk feel that draws comparisons to Little Feat. Or perhaps it's the roots
rock 'n' roll with a singing drummer that gets it compared to The Band.
However, it's just a modern band whose influences are bands that made their mark on the music scene years ago.
Those comparisons are flattering, and those bands are huge influences on us, so it makes sense," Meservy said.
That's where our influences are, from the time period of the late 1960s and '70s. That's where our sound is; it's an
electric blues sound."
As fertile ground as Austin is for both established bands and newcomers, it's all about getting out there and
playing, at any level in any location. Wisebird plays plenty of shows around its adopted home town, but it also gets
out and tours often. This tour is taking the band through New Mexico, Durango, up into Wyoming, Utah and Idaho, back
to the Front Range and into the Midwest.
We all just love music, and we love to play," Meservy said. So we do it as much as we can."
Liggett_b@fortlewis.edu Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR