Allison Russell had a successful career as a member of the Canadian roots quartet, Po' Girl, as did J.T. Nero with his band, J.T. Nero and the Clouds when they met on the West Coast in the early 2000's. Within a couple of years they had formed Birds of Chicago, and while those other groups still nominally exist, nothing compares to the musical and personal chemistry Allison and J.T. achieve together. Combining Allison's soulful vocals with J.T.'s well-crafted songs, Birds of Chicago hit home with a powerful blend they call "secular gospel." As he always does, producer Joe Henry brought out the best in them on their new album, Real Midnight.