Andrew Bird, in both look and sound, feels like someone who entered through a door in an old Dustbowl-era saloon and walked out into a concert hall in early-2000s New York. There is something so effortlessly nostalgic about Bird’s lyrics and sound—the fact that he plays the violin as his primary instrument surely adds to this—that gives him the immediate respectability of an aging musician within the body of a young man who has much more work to complete.
Bird plans to release his newest project, Echolocations: River, on October 6th. To say that Bird stepped out of the studio for this one is to put it lightly. Recorded under the Hyperion Bridge in Los Angeles, Bird waded in ankle-deep water as he recorded this instrumental album. The release is the second installation in a series of short films and recordings that document recordings from specific locations. The locations involved allow for sound quality not easily discoverable or even replicable in the studio. Bird will play Echolocations: River live starting on October 12th at Los Angeles’s Zebulon; tickets go on sale this coming Friday. For now, Bird is still aboard his world tour.
Bird picked up his violin at the age of four and promptly bathed amidst the fathers of classical composition. It was not until his teenage years that Bird’s violin began to sound more like a fiddle, when he found an interest in early jazz, country blues and gypsy music. He combines all of these things into his own sound, creating something akin to popular sound while maintaining a post far from it. Bird has released twelve albums since 1997. NPR described Bird’s progression as a musician after reviewing his latest release, Are You Serious.
“[Bird’s] writing keeps sounding warmer, sweeter, more thoughtful and approachable, while continuing to land lines that stick with you for days.”
Bird’s new project is surely an interesting experiment with sound and location. Fans of his music are accustomed to innovation and musical progression despite his consistent instrumentation, a definite indicator of his inventiveness on the violin.
ANDREW BIRD LIVE
October 12—Los Angeles, CA—Zebulon
October 13—Mesa, AZ—Mesa Arts Center
October 14—Santa Barbara, CA—Campbell Hall
October 16—San Luis Obispo, CA—Christopher Cohan Center
October 18—San Francisco, CA—SFJAZZ, Miner Auditorium
October 19—San Francisco, CA—SFJAZZ, Miner Auditorium
October 20—Stanford, CA—Bing Concert Hall
October 22—Davis, CA—Mondavi Center
October 23—Arcata, CA—Van Duzer Theatre
December 8—Nashville, TN—Downtown Presbyterian Church*
December 9—Nashville, TN—Downtown Presbyterian Church*
December 11—Chicago, IL—Fourth Presbyterian Church*
December 12—Chicago, IL—Fourth Presbyterian Church*
December 13—Chicago, IL—Fourth Presbyterian Church*
December 14—Chicago, IL—Fourth Presbyterian Church*
* Gezelligheid Performances
Photography Credit: Alyssa Fried