Blessed Feathers are definitely my kind of people… The duo share a 10-year-old cell phone and have to make a trip to the nearest library if they want internet access (Okay, so I’m told that management forced them to get a new cell phone for SXSW… but they still seem pretty awesome.) Blessed Feathers are Donivan Berube and Jacquelyn Beaupre, two people who came together working in a restaurant in West Bend, Wisconsin (where they both currently still work) and went on to become musical and life partners.
I recently got a chance to chat with Donivan from SXSW and he and Jacquelyn were apparently having quite a different experience than The Belle Game (whom I also interviewed from the Austin music festival). “The lines are just ridiculous. We have two shows in four days and I’m glad, so it’s just been really relaxing… I think I got sunburned,” Donivan tells me, going on to say that even after doing eight shows in four days at CMJ, the insanity of the NYC festival pales in comparison to that of the Austin celebration. In fact, when I caught up with him, he was gushing about having spent the afternoon outside of the city, at the Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve, a natural pool that was created when a cave collapsed. “It was so breathtaking,” he tells me,” going on to give his thanks in general for the couple’s recent experiences, “Every day of this tour we’ve woken up and just had the best day… Every day’s been a perfect day.”
The duo unofficially began in 2009, with Donivan producing Jacquelyn’s solo material, but the pair quickly became partners, letting the collaborating become more fluid. They’ve been playing together live since spring of 2010, but the band’s debut EP, Peaceful Beasts in an Ocean of Weeds, didn’t hit shelves until last fall. The album was produced by Kevin McMahon and is comprised of their five favorite songs that they’d written in the past two years. I would describe the album as a woodsy brand of psychedelica or postmodernly atmospheric folk, but Donivan jokes, “I just call it ‘rock.’ ‘Genres’ get to be too much, although we make up genres for fun. We’ve been Flute Rock, Dad Rock, Swamp Rock, Mystic Soul, Barack Obama Funk…” He does, however, note, “Most of our songs are rooted in geographic references about the places we’ve been,” going on to explain, “We’re sort of nomadic… We’re living out of our hatchback.”
Although Blessed Feathers have some new material to be recorded (“We have 12 songs demoed for a full-length,” Donivan tells me.), the duo are most looking forward to staying on tour: “Hopefully we’ll stay on the road for most of 2013. I wanna just keep doing this for the rest of the year.” After SXSW Blessed Feathers are jumping on tour with North Carolina’s Mount Moriah. The tour will find itself making a local stop at Johnny Brenda’s on Tuesday, March 26th. I asked Donivan what can be expected of the live experience and he told me, “It’s way, way, way different from the album. The album is with a full band and for the live show it’s a duo… We always like to throw in some ‘90s R&B covers.”