The sun is starting to make more of a consistent presence as summer begins in Western New York, the time of year we start to remember just how beautiful the area we live in actually is. Blue skies and warmer temps make the perfect companions to good music, and folk locals Tough Old Bird will be bringing just that to Mohawk Place tonight to celebrate the release of their fifth album, The Old Great Lakes.

Almost every piece of writing you’ll come across describing Tough Old Bird – a folk group
started in Fillmore, NY by brothers Matthew and Nathan Corrigan in 2013 – mentions the word “landscape” at least once or twice. Tough Old Bird takes its surroundings and transforms them into beautifully crafted, traditionally modern folk music, using sophisticated acoustic guitar, harmonica, and hints of accordion and electric guitar to develop not only a dynamic, comforting shroud of sound but a poetic narrative as well. From the title alone, we can see that the ever- present influence of landscape will no doubt continue into the group’s latest album, The Great Old Lakes, a motif that also shows itself in the two tracks already available on Bandcamp: “Lake Erie Come Home” and “Harbor Song.”

While Tough Old Bird’s music has a clear influence by the folk heroes of the second half of the 20th century, the group also is constantly evolving not only their own sound but the folk genre itself. Do yourself a favor and be one of the first to see what Tough Old Bird has been working on live and in person – the way folk music was meant to be enjoyed.

Oats Holy Roller (Fredonia), The Grand Low (Trumansburg), and coral collapse (Buffalo) will start the show. Doors at 8. $5 entry.

Written by Grace Trimper