Andrew Bird’s live cover of the great Townes Van Zandt’s “If I Needed You” was a standout among 2012 tour stops, and now the reverent take has made its way to tape as well. Bird and his band have a new record due next month, an 8-track set titled Hands of Glory that features a pair of new tunes, a reworked version of Break It Yourself cut “Orpheo Looks Back” (dubbed just “Orpheo” this time), the Van Zandt song, and other covers.
When the aforementioned live preview surfaced back in March, we praised the way Bird played off the room’s natural acoustics. The new LP used a similar approach, it seems, as the tracks were recorded in a church or barn with all performers surrounding a single microphone (an old RCA ribbon mic, per the album trailer).
Very promising stuff, if today’s first taste of “Three White Horses” is any indication. Stream the opening track above and preview the tracklist below:
Hands of Glory Tracklist
01. “Three White Horses
02. “When That Helicopter Comes
04. “Railroad Bill”
05. “Something Biblical”
06. “If I Needed You”
08. “Beyond the Valley of the Three White Horses”