By Matt Wickstrom
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Horse Feathers made their return to Lexington after two years away on Thursday at The Burl with support from Louisville’s Bendigo Fletcher and up-and-coming Lexington singer-songwriter Daisy Helmuth. The show marked a return home for two members of Horse Feathers, with bassist and pedal steel player J. Tom Hnatow and drummer Robby Cosenza residing in Lexington.
The 18-year-old Helmuth kicked the evening off with a performance that included a poignant, soulful cover of “Rain” by father Otto Helmuth’s band The Blueberries. With exception to the first song of her set, which she performed solo, Helmuth was joined by drummer and People Planet bandmate Jack Quinn, who formed a formidable duo representing the next crop of talented musicians to come up through the Central Kentucky scene.
Bendigo Fletcher followed Helmuth with an electrifying set led by the rangy, howling vocals of Ryan Anderson, which shined during performances of “Sleeping Pad” and “Chocolate Garden.” The remainder of the group — bassist Conner Powell, drummer Chris Weis and guitarist Andrew Shupert — provided tight backing instrumentals drenched in psychedelia.
Portland-based Horse Feathers closed out the evening. Led by guitarist and vocalist Justin Ringle, violin/mandolinist Nathan Crockett and hometown heroes Hnatow and Cosenza, the group began their set with “Without Applause,” the lead track off the band’s new album Appreciation. Many more cuts from the record followed throughout the evening including “Best to Leave,” “Born to Love” and “Broken Beak.”
Learn more about Horse Feathers from Matt Wickstrom’s feature on the band for the Kentucky Kernel ahead of their previous show in Lexington — October 2016 at Soulful Space.