The band has lots more to offer than just pleasant voices. Wood is probably one of the best undiscovered electric guitarists in town, and he's mastered the knack of getting a sweet, ringing twang from his Telecaster. Both Wood and Lynn are impressive songwriters, too. On a bluesy tearjerker like "The Last Time We Talked," the sense of watching someone from your past rocketing toward self-destruction is chillingly real, and even on the up-tempo "Vancouver," the snapshot of homesickness viewed from a hotel room on a cold and rainy day goes straight to the heart. The easy voices contrast with these stark emotional thunderstorms in a way that makes their darkness even more sharply felt.
I caught the band at Portofino, a cozy cafe with the same vibes I used to get listening to music at the late, lamented Gypsy Cafe. For an audience of perhaps ten people, Lynn and Wood (with Embassy Hotel Records mate John Latini another undiscovered jewel of the local music scene sitting in on pedal steel) played a long set of songs about cheating and sadness, empty hearts and trouble. It's the familiar stuff of classic country music, of course. But when the lyrics hit home, the two voices intertwine, and the guitar is crying away, the Hummingbirds have all it takes to become classics themselves. You better catch them in small cafes they're at Crazy Wisdom on Friday, April 8, at Old Town on Sunday, April 24, and at Conor O'Neill's on Thursday, April 28 while there is still time.
[Originally published in April, 2005.]
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