The "About" section on The Wild Feathers' Facebook page reads: "They're like if Led Zeppelin & The Band had a baby in Joshua Tree that grew up listening to Ryan Adams covering the Stones 70's country influenced songs." That might seem like a pretty confusing cocktail for the ears, but it's actually pretty telling. The band hails from Nashville, Tennessee, but don't think that means they are pure country. Sure, there's some of that, but there's also rock, and blues, and Americana.
The Wild Feathers, made up of Taylor Burns, Joel King, Ricky Young, Preston Wimberly and Ben Jarvis, teamed up with iHeartRadio to Guest DJ a radio station that represents them. Check out the band's top ten tracks below.
1. Freddie King, "Going Down" (Taylor)
"It’s one of the first songs I remember my Dad playing in the car," Taylor tells iHeartRadio. "Listening to a lot of Blues growing up, this is just one of the songs that helped shape me as a musician as a singer and a songwriter.'
2. Rolling Stones, "Sweet Virginia" (Taylor)
"It’s off Exile on Main St. – One of my favorite records of all time. It’s their approach to country and rock n’ roll. All of it kind of blends in together; that helped shape me as an artist, what I wanted to do. They did it better than anyone else, and it’s funny, it’s a British guy singing country and they pull it off better than anyone else. It’s one of the first songs me, Ricky and Joel ever played together, and it kind of like sparked our interest into forming a band like this."
3. The Beatles, "Strawberry Fields" (Joel)
"One of THE achievements in music history. I’s one of the songs that never goes out of style, it never sounds old. It sounds so new and awesome every time. You can find little things in it every time you listen to it... we try to borrow all you can from those types of songs. There’s two drum sets in it which I think is so awesome. If you could write a song half as good, or create a song half as good as 'Strawberry Fields,' then you’d be set for life. I think it changed the whole face of music."
4. Gram Parsons, "Return of the Grievous Angel" (Joel)
"Gram Parsons got his start with The Byrds," Joel tells iHeartRadio. Major influence on the Stones, major influence on us. The line, 'Out with the truckers and the kickers and the cowboy angels,' it just feels great. It has so many chord changes and it’s hard to play,otherwise we’d probably cover it. He kind of labeled his music as 'Cosmic American Music,' and I always thought that was cool."
5. Ben E. King, "Stand By Me" (Ben)
"'Stand By Me' by Ben E. King is one of my favorite songs of all time without a doubt," Ben says. "Everything about it: the production, the lyrics, the music, the melody, the performance, the way Ben E. King delivers it; it’s so sad but it’s so proud at the same time. If you really listen to the lyrics it’s actually pretty dark."
6. Wilco, "Via Chicago" (Ben)
"One of my favorite songs is 'Via Chicago' by Wilco. One of my favorite bands. The first time I ever heard this song, I never heard anything like it. It’s a great folk song, a great pop song, a great all around song. It would go from a beautiful song straight into complete chaos and back to a beautiful song – I never heard anything like that. Lyrically, it’s amazing. It’s Jeff Tweedy at his best, being esoteric, but still very direct and descriptive. I don’t really actually have a place to live now cause I’m always on the road, so yeah it always gets to me when he sings about searching for a home."
7. Hank Williams, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" (Ricky)
"I guess it’s probably the saddest song I’ve ever heard, and it was my Grandfather’s favorite song, so I think that has something to do with it. The imagery of it and the sadness paints the perfect picture of what it feels like to be lonely. To think about him writing that song in the 40s and the 50s... it just blows my mind."
8. Ryan Adams, "Winding Wheel" (Ricky)
"It might have been the first song I heard off Heartbreaker if I remember correctly. I remember one lyric sticking out: 'a song that ushers in her driving rain.' I remember thinking like, 'What the hell, that is soo good!' I was hooked on that record and him as an artist from then on, and I love that song more and more every time I hear it. It just blows me away, and he was so young when he put that record out too, which just blows my mind."
9. George Strait "I Can Still Make Cheyenne" (Preston)
"Gotta go with some George Strait. The song 'Cheyenne' is one of my favorites," Preston says. "It's basically a guy that’s in a rodeo; he talks about a rodeo man. He’s on the road all the time and he’s traveling, and then he finally gets a call from his wife and she’s left him... it’s something that musicians can relate to, being gone all the time, having to travel and trying to keep a relationship at home. It’s difficult in the way that he sings it – it really hits home to all of us for sure."
10. My Morning Jacket, "Wonderful" (Preston)
"It’s on their latest record - it’s actually pretty new - and it’s just such a good song. The way he sings it, so vulnerable... Just, the way he sings it and portrays this feeling of a new chapter in his life or something. He just sells it so well, where it just seems like there’s this huge relief and this weight off his back... it’s just a beautiful song, it really is."
(The Wild Feathers L-R: Taylor, Joel, Ricky, Ben, Preston)
Photos: Rachel Kaplan