The Wild Feathers began when three frontmen from separate projects joined forces.
It might sound like a recipe for disaster, balancing egos of three performers who are used to being the center of attention. But Taylor Burns, one of those three, says the hardest thing to get used to wasn’t sharing the spotlight or diva demands. Rather, it was his new spot onstage.
“It was a little weird not standing in the center just from like a spacial sense,” Burns says. “Not because it was a blow to my ego but just like, whoa, I’m just not used to being over here.”
In the nine years since The Wild Feathers began, he’s become more accustomed to his new digs. Last June, the band released its third record, “Greetings from the Neon Frontier,” a collection of harmony-rich road songs prime for a long journey.
The band will perform songs from “Neon Frontier” and more when it plays at the Chameleon Club on Saturday.
Burns and his bandmates connected with Ricky Young and Joel King through a mutual friend at a party in Austin, Texas. The three ended up jamming at the gathering, and discovered they shared a lot of musical influences, from the Rolling Stones to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and the Beatles.
When they decided to start a band in earnest, Burns says musicians from their former circles doubted their ability to sing in harmony.
“Like, all of the dudes in the other bands that we were in at the time kind of made fun of us, like, ‘I can’t believe y’all started a harmony band, y’all never could sing harmonies,’ ” Burns says, noting that they sang the melody as lead vocalists.
But over time, they found their groove and discovered that their voices blend quite well together, too.
“I got to where I really love it now,” Burns says. “It’s made me such a better singer, musician, whatever all around, and now I’m just listening to that naturally, and I think the other guys would agree with me on that.”
Sharing the spotlight also helped lessen the workload of songwriting, Burns says. Typically, whoever sings lead on a track wrote the song, he says.
On the latest album, the band returned to work with producer Jay Joyce, as they have on all their records. Burns says they see Joyce as another member of the group, which now also includes drummer Ben Dumas.
“When we work with him, we get to make records like 10 minutes from our house, which is really awesome, especially now that some of the guys have young kids in the band,” Burns says.
Burns says while the band is proud of the experimentation of its second record, “Lonely is a Lifetime,” he feels “Neon Frontier” is a return to how the group first began as just a couple of guys with acoustic guitars having fun. It’s also an homage to its time spent touring.
“That’s kind of how we came up with the title ... like another bar, dancehall, venue, just kind of road-dogging it for so long, that was our mindset that went into when we started writing, making this last record,” Burns says.
Those adventures have taken them to some pretty exciting places, including gigs as opening acts for Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. While they didn’t get any face time with Dylan, Burns says Simon was gracious and personable.
“My hands were like shaking almost to play guitar in front of him,” Burns says. “And then there’s a wrap party at the end of the whole tour, an end-of-tour party. He sat there and talked to us for probably 25 minutes, just talking about influences. He was telling us about listening to the Everly Brothers and all kinds of cool stuff.”
The band checked off another bucket list item last year when it made its Grand Ole Opry debut.
“When you’re out there, you kind of have to pinch yourself,” Burns says. “They have a big circle from the original Opry, so I bent down and kissed that. It was just crazy. I was telling someone not too long ago, it’s the recognition from your peers I think that’s so special.”