Old Canes is the folk-inflected solo project of Appleseed Cast’s Chris Crisci. The Lawrence, KS multi-instrumentalist recently signed to Saddle Creek to release his sophomore album Feral Harmonic (10/20). He recorded most of the collection alone in his basement studio over three-and-a-half years, though friends contributed guest trumpet, drums, harmophone, cello, and hammer dulcimer. We asked Chris about the collection’s triumphant toy piano and horn-lined opening anthem “Little Bird Courage.”
Who is “Little Bird Courage”? Any relation to Chicken Little? It feels like a fight song.
Yes, absolutely a relation to Chicken Little. Little Bird Courage is all of us, it’s everyone who makes the choice answer to beauty, not fear … as my favorite Van Pelt song goes. It takes courage to put ourselves out there, to love, to show kindness. It’s much easier to protect ourselves and treat each other with cynicism, which is how — initially — we tend to treat each other. The little bird is that love that is dying to get out and show itself … that we think is so vulnerable, but is actually powerful if it’s not constrained by our fear.