Live Review, 8/2/12: The Mynabirds Fly High at Cafe Du Nord

The Mynabirds

Deep Time

Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012

Cafe Du Nord

Better than: Messianic beardo hippie-soul-bros.

Even when she's singing about leaden topics like war and political apathy, The Mynabirds' Laura Burhenn seems to soar, vocally and even physically. Last night at Cafe Du Nord, this impression came partly due to the fact that the singer's long, narrow body stood perched upon both an impressive set of wedge heels and a wooden platform on top of the stage, making both her and co-singer Rebecca Marie Miller seem to tower royally over the crowd.

But it's Burhenn's voice that most seems to defy gravity: It is low and rich, able to rush up to the higher registers, but strongest in the midrange, where Burhenn moves with an effortless, bluesy feel that belies her age. Matched with the Mynabirds' classic, keyboard-driven soul — the band is named after a '60s group that for a while included both Neil Young and Rick James — Burhenn's songs feel like just the music you'd expect to radiate from America's heartland. Which, of course, it does: Burhenn is based in Omaha, and the Mynabirds' two albums were released by the city's Saddle Creek label.

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