short album, does that make it an ep
where is that line drawn?
country flavored alt here I guess
nine minute instrumental at the end killed it
1.5 from me and a converted 2.2 from the pros at allmusic
from the album - Three White Horses
released Oct 30th, 2012
Bio - from allmusic
Chicago singer/songwriter/violinist Andrew Bird updates the traditions of small-group swing, German lieder, and New
Orleans jazz, mixing Gypsy, folk, and rock elements into his distinctive style. Bird's projects include his group
the Bowl of Fire (which also includes drummer Kevin O'Donnell, bassist Josh Hirsch, and guitarist Colin Bunn) and
performing as an auxiliary member of the Squirrel Nut Zippers; in turn, the Zippers' Katharine Whalen and James
Mathus appeared on the Bowl of Fire albums Thrills and Oh! the Grandeur. Bird has also recorded with artists like
Pinetop Seven and Lil' Ed Williams, teaches music at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and performed on the score
and soundtrack from the 1999 Tim Robbins film The Cradle Will Rock.
His third album, 2001's The Swimming Hour, surprisingly found the Bowl of Fire turning to pop music, and with
excellent results. As bandmembers remained active in their various other projects, the group continued, and work on
a follow-up began in 2002. To tide fans over, Bird self-released a limited-edition EP, Fingerlings, which documented
live performances of some old and new songs by the band and solo. Early 2003 brought the release of another LP,
Weather Systems, on the independent Grimsey label. Bird debuted on Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe imprint in 2005
with Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs. He switched to Fat Possum for 2007's Armchair Apocrypha and
2009's Noble Beast, both of which were ambitious and eclectic albums even by Bird's standards. The latter of the two
was also available in a deluxe version that included a bonus CD of instrumental works. The second disc, dubbed
Useless Creatures, was released independently from its predecessor in October of 2010.
The following year, Bird composed the score for Jonathan Segal's independent coming-of-age film Norman. The film's
score was released in October on the Mom + Pop label. Bird's highly anticipated sixth studio album, Break it
Yourself, arrived in March of 2012, followed by the companion piece Hands of Glory in early October.
Album Review - from allmusic
Arriving just eight months after the whistling bard's sixth studio album, 2012's Break it Yourself, the eight-track
companion piece Hands of Glory forgoes its predecessor's predilection for quirky, albeit homey, slabs of stately,
professorial indie folk-pop in favor of a more authentic and rootsy approach. Produced in the same Luddite fashion
as Break it Yourself (old pals, old barn), Hands of Glory takes that austerity one step further by recording all of
the proceedings on a single microphone, resulting in a set that sounds both out of time and incredibly immediate.
The immersion lends itself well to new originals like the spooky, hymn-like "Three White Horses," the drought-
provoked "Something Biblical," and the Carter Family-inspired "Railroad Bill," all three of which swap Bird's more
experimental tendencies for a foundation that's firmly rooted in tradition, be it country, folk, or gospel. A
bluesy, Morricone-informed rendition of the Handsome Family's "When That Helicopter Comes" introduces a nice
Calexico vibe into the mix, while covers of "Spirograph" (Alpha Consumer) and "If I Needed You" (Townes Van Zandt)
bring with them the warm winds of Laurel Canyon, but it's the headliner's deft, gentle reworking of Break it
Yourself's "Orpheo Looks Back," simply called "Orpheo" here, and the expansive, ornate, nearly ten-minute closer
"Beyond the Valley of the Three White Horses" that most successfully bear their master's mark, steeped in the dust
and cobwebs blown from the glass of an old bay window, yet firmly espoused in modern vernacular.
1. Three White Horses
2. When That Helicopter Comes
4. Railroad Bill
5. Something Biblical
6. If I Needed You
8. Beyond the Valley of the Three White Horses