Here's a bit of our story so far...
This is the shorter version, and if you want the long winded version, it's further below. If you're looking to book us, please go to our press kit!
“ A funny, unique, truly memorable folk-country duo”. That’s what the Permanent Rain Press had to say about Chicken-Like Birds after listening to their new EP “Moving On” that was released in March, 2017. The two have been making great strides with their original swing, country blues and ragtime tunes that are applicable to the 20th century but are very much influenced by the music of the 1920’s and 1930’s. Appearing at festivals across Western Canada last year, 2017 finds the duo on their first cross Canada tour, going all the way to St. John’s Newfoundland.
The love for original music is the reason why the two Chicken-Like Birds met. Ari and Jasmin had both been going to a particular open mic on Tuesdays at Cafe Koi in Calgary, one that focused on original music and also gave you a free beer for playing. They knew of each other and had even gone out for beers with a gang of the open mic’-ers at one point. But it wasn’t until Ari went up on stage, sang a song about killing his girlfriend, then announced he just got back from learning to build guitars, and had grown a bit of a beard, that Jasmin thought to befriend him.
Soon they became drinking buddies. Then song-writing buddies. That’s when Jasmin told Ari that in a few weeks she was going tree planting for three months and then afterward she was going to move to Vancouver. She asked him if he wanted to come with her to Vancouver and even though he only knew her for a few months, he agreed.
While Jasmin laboured in the cut blocks of BC and AB, Ari prepared to leave his office job of 6 years, let go of his rented house and sold all his stuff or gave it away. He had also promised to build an entire guitar for his friend, the first one he would have made since learning to do it in Tugaske, Saskatchewan. Ari is very persistent when given a task so he indeed got it all done and once Jasmin’s planting season ended they started the journey off by being houseless for a while.
First stop had them volunteering for the Roots and Blues Festival in Salmon Arm. Jasmin had done it the year before and had found herself at an afterparty with all the musicians from the festival and suggested that they sneak in again. The two brought a couple guitars, followed the sound of music, walked right in as if they belonged there, sat down and started jamming. Ari had brought along his suitcase kick drum which hadn’t been used much at this point and in a moment of epic jamming frenzy, musician Patrick Alexandre, who had been playing the drum at the time, managed to bang up a pretty good sized hole in the shell. Thankfully it was still useful.
By October, in a far East Vancouver basement Ari and Jasmin lived for two years along with a whole slew of other musicians and young interesting folks. They found a wonderful community of like minded people and thrived on the creativity surrounding them. They busked at the farmers markets and at the train stations and played nearly any show they could get their hands on. They got a mini-van so they could hit the road and Jasmin decided to start playing upright bass since now they had the room for it. In the summers they started venturing further and further, playing festivals and shows throughout BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Things were going fairly well.
One of the festivals they ended up at in 2016 was the Fire and Water Festival in Lac Du Bonnet in Manitoba where it turned out that Patrick Alexandre was playing. Late one night at the campfire jam Ari brought up the mishap with the kick drum, a good chuckle ensued and a good friendship was formed. At the end of the festival, while saying goodbye Patrick suggested he would love to produce an album of theirs.
In the fall of 2016 Jasmin’s parents bought an acreage outside of Salmon Arm and made Ari and Jas a fine offer. They could live there in the basement suite if they renovated it and maintained the house and the grounds. Living out in the country had been a dream of each of the two so it seemed like a no brainer. Though they would miss their community, the city had been taking its toll on them and the country seemed like a sweet sweet mistress, one they could not say no to. Particularly the fact that they would be moving to Salmon Arm , the town they volunteered at, where they had gotten their first taste of what it was like to be a musician that toured and played festivals. It was perfect. They moved to Salmon Arm in December 2016 and that’s where they are today. Living the country life, writing, playing, learning the fine art of house renovations (they could have started a blog called “how not to renovate”) and doing whatever they do.
With the 2017 touring season upon us the two have released a new EP called “Moving On” which was produced and recorded by Winston Hauschild on Bowen Island at Little Island Studios in the fall of 2016, featuring Liam McDonald on drums, John Kastelic on viola/violin, Chris Gestrin appearing on a track doing some wicked ragtime piano and Winston lays on some organ/keys tastefully in a few tunes. They will be taking the album on the road all the way to Newfoundland in late summer/early fall. Finally, to tie it all together, a new full length album produced by Patrick Alexandre is to be recorded come the fall.