Gig Seeker Pro


Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Band Alternative Acoustic


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"MBIRD - Over the Bones"

The songs on MBIRD's "Over the Bones", are beautiful in all their simplicity. The ten songs weave folk and jazz together. The songs sound beautifully produced, not lastly because of the wistful musical casting.
"Over the Bones" forte lies in MBIRD's supple style of singing. Except for an occasional foray into swing in "Porch Swing" and "Train Song," these are songs for listening; where the minimal musical framing and MBIRD herself demand complete attention. The moving and emotional manner in which she translates the songs on this CD renders the listener truly speechless. The high point is the closing track, "This Bridge," with a real church organ in the leading role. Fortunately for us, her voice has been saved and we can still abundantly enjoy the sensitive and vibrant capability of her singing. - www.altcountry.nl

"MBIRD - Over the Bones"

MBird – Over the Bones

by Janet Goodman

Kansas City is home to MBird, aka Megan Birdsall, an intriguing singer/songwriter with jazz leanings. On her latest CD, “Over the Bones”, Birdsall sheds some of her old accoutrements, making room for new growth of influences, from 70’s Motown Pop to Folk Rock. Her soulful and sensitive vocals are what make each of the ten offered tracks a highly intimate listening experience.

Self-produced along with Jack Sundrud and Michael Smith, the album has an overall smooth and unhurried appeal, much due to Birdsall’s interpretation of uncomplicated, almost water-colored lyrics, all co-written with Michael Smith. There are no overworked, detailed-to-death oil paintings in her music gallery.

Compelling melodies sung with sepia-toned richness are everywhere. Birdsall sets the pace with infectious and unexpected phrasing on opening track “Train Song”. A sassier vocal with answering R&B guitars reveals her Stevie Wonder/Detroit birthplace influence on the commercial gem, “Over My Head”. Deliciously harmonious refrains and choruses abound, like the organ-backed hook, “This bridge over me”, in her “Boat Song”.

Album standouts are her Joni Mitchell-esque “Enough for Me” and her title cut, the hauntingly melodic “Over the Bones”, where her rich vibrato and break-your-heart lower register are accompanied by slide and acoustic guitars; it is just the kind of sultry song that Canadian songstress K. D. Lang has been waiting for. Her understated lyrics say just enough: “There’s a moment where I find myself/Standing frozen at the window/Bound, moaning, all the way down/Waiting for spring/Waiting for nothing, nothing, nothing/Nothing but you”. Dark overtones shadow her work, reminiscent of Shelby Lynne.

Birdsall’s vocals sound anything but controlled, yet it is clear that a singer with whispers and rasp, emotional highs and lows, all falling in the right places, is an artist with admirable control of her instrument.

To find out more about this artist, go to www.mbirdmusic.com

(c) 2005-2010 MNN Enterprises, LLC. Music News Nashville is designed, owned

and published by Dan Harr. All rights reserved. - Music News Nashville

"MBIRD - Over the Bones"


MBird is Megan Birdsall, a young jazz veteran now traveling with "Over The Bones," her Americana chronicle. Birdsall's subtly variable pitch evokes an anxious ingenue, a mature woman, or both at once. The recurring huskiness as she waits "For nothing/Nothing but you" suggests all the ways she's shaded by the pendulum's slow swing. But she also believes that time can be more than a circle game: "One Kiss" could spiral it through the lasso of this watchful cowgirl in the sand.

Originally Published: April 21, 2010 - Columbus, OH UWeekly

"MBIRD/ Little Jazz Bird"

I drove through a raging thunderstorm, a torrent of hail and the threat of flood to hear Megan Birdsall sing.
But she herself went through much worse just to find her voice again.
As I waded along Shawnee Mission Parkway at fifteen miles an hour, Birdsall was beginning her recurring last Wednesday of the month performance at Jardine's.
By now, the trials and triumphs of Kansas City's own little jazz bird have been widely discussed: an artist who'd always relied on her voice suddenly found her instrument and her very life threatened by her own decaying jaw and collapsing throat.
Thankfully, disaster was averted and now, about a year and a half after her surgery, Birdsall has not only recovered but is on the cusp of taking her career in a whole new direction.
I arrived at the club and was surprised to see that, despite the weather, the room was nearly full. The players-Paul Smith at the piano, Bob Bowman on upright bass and Tim Cambron on the skins-were crisp and tight.
Birdsall herself was in great form. Her voice was rich and honey-toned, her stage demeanor, warm, personable and a little quirky. She wore a long turquoise beaded necklace, a black spaghetti-strap tank top and dark jeans and held herself with casual ease-more playful pal than alluring siren.

Next to me, an audience member leaned onto the bar and lamented that there wasn't more room in the club. "This is the perfect music for dancing," she purred.
Birdsall gave the audience a reason to lift their heels and swing their hips. It seemed like everyone who braved the weather was rewarded for their trouble.
The next day, I met her for coffee.

She sat outside in a Wonder Woman tank top, wearing heart-shaped shades, looking unbothered by the heat. A matching Wonder Woman canvas bag sat at her feet. Soon we were joking about the tattoos on her wrists being indestructible superhero bracelets and her hair a coiled-up, hidden lasso of truth.
Birdsall's playful sense of humor has been cultivated since birth. She was raised by adults who love to play: her father, actor Jim Birdsall, was an early member of the Missouri Rep. Her father's fellow actors, Mark Robbins and Gary Neal Johnson and others, served as uncles.
She grew up doing what she was surrounded by: dance, theatre, music. As for her eventual path, she said, "I always loved to sing jazz. I had this huge canon of music that I knew. When you're young, I don't think people plan to be jazz singers. But I just knew I wanted to sing those songs."
The love of those songs led Birdsall to gigs all over the metro area at places such as Jardine's, the Blue Room, the Phoenix Bar and Grill, Harling's, BB's Lawnside BBQ, the Drum Room and many more.
But her health issues forced her into a frustrating hiatus. By the time she returned, the landscape had changed drastically. Many clubs had undergone budget cutbacks or had closed altogether.
"The classical and jazz community is always hit the hardest." She seems both proud and frustrated that jazz is taken for granted. "No one really gets concerned about it. Because their attitude is always, 'jazz will always come back.'"
It's this resiliency that compelled her to come back a mere five months after her surgery. It was too soon. The doctors forced her to pull back. But it was too late. The creative wheels were already set in motion.
"I sang three times a week for three years, now they've cut my face off. I didn't know what to do." What Birdsall did do was begin writing new songs immediately while still recuperating in Dallas. The foundation for a new album was recorded in her living room, her mouth still harnessed in surgical braces.
Her aspirations had always been to be a musician, not just a singer. And reconnecting with those desires led to an unexpected place outside of jazz.
She describes her new record, "Over the Bones," as Wilco by the way of Shelby Lynne with a little Will Oldham a.k.a. Bonnie "Prince" Billy thrown in as well.
Megan Birdsall, alt-country?
Yes, sort of. The nom de plume for this project will officially be MBIRD, leaving Megan Birdsall proper to the jazz community.
She and her songwriting partner, boyfriend and local actor Michael Andrew Smith, tapped into her North Dakota family roots and her memories of playing in wheat seed and on combines.
She had a cadre of top-notch Nashville players at her disposal and a rhythm section culled from Kansas City friends such as Jake Blanton, Jeff Harshbarger, Mark Lowrey and Tim Cambron.

"We begin mastering the new album on the 10th. Do you want to hear it?"
She plays me the first track. Wheat and whirls and whiskey permeate the music. Birdsall's vocals, harmony layered upon harmony, are perfectly suited for the genre. It makes complete sense.
She's taken up residency in both Nashville and Kansas City, spending the first two weeks of the month in Tennessee and the latter two here.
She doesn't plan to leave her roots though. In fact, she intends to follow this album up with another jazz record before year's end. And her scheduling is strategic. She chose to stay in Kansas City the last two weeks of each month in large part because of her Jardine's gig.
"No matter what, I'll always come back to this. I love this job!" She means Jardine's. She means jazz. She means Kansas City. She speaks with conviction. "They love music. They love to dance. They love to get out and get fucked up. Kansas City is unique. Its art matches the face of this town. I don't know yet about Nashville. But I do know about Kansas City."
I reflect upon the night before. Birdsall told me a cautionary tale about a jazz musician who'd reached a level of acclaim before crumbling underneath his own hubris.
"You know what did it?" she asked. "He tried to say, 'This is my music. I did this. And yeah, if you wrote that song, fine, whatever." She shakes her head. "But he was trying to say that about jazz."
"No one owns this." She pointed at the songbook on the piano. "This is like breaking bread."
Some of Birdsall's friends wave goodbye. She lets her hair down and kicks off a rousing final set.
Wherever her new direction takes her, wherever the country roads might lead, Kansas City jazz fans can be assured that Megan Birdsall fully intends to come home to break bread as much as possible. - KCMetropolis.com


Over the Bones
Live at the Indigo (ep)



MBIRD is singer/songwriter Megan Birdsall. Megan has been lighting up the jazz world for the past five years, releasing three albums under her name. As a jazz artist she has performed all over the country, including command performances for Michelle Obama and at an inaugural ball in DC in 2009. As MBIRD, Megan records and tours with the finest musicians available, who have played with a wildly diverse array of artists including Vince Gill, Carmen McCrae, ?uestlove of the Roots, Alison Krauss, Robert Plant, the Dixie Chicks, and many others. Her haunting melodies and evocative lyrics highlight the gorgeous instrument work and intelligent arrangements, inspired by folk, country, jazz and r&b. All of this is held together seamlessly by MBIRD's flawless voice. Her warm honey tones glide effortlessly through her songs, an ever growing collection of material spanning up and mid tempo as well as ballads.