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Music singer and songwriter Andrew Bird pictures (pic) and photo gallery, album covers pictures.
Born: July 11, 1973 Illinois, USA.
Trained in the Suzuki method from a young age, Bird graduated from Illinois' Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in violin performance. He released his first solo album, Music of Hair, in 1996. Vastly different from his later releases, this first album showcases his violin skills and pays tribute to his fascination with both American and European folk traditions, as well as jazz and blues.
His initial commercial exposure was in collaborative work with the band Squirrel Nut Zippers. He quickly was associated with the swing revival that swept the US music industry in the mid '90s, an affiliation that he is still working to shed.
Taking on the role of band leader in 1997, he released Thrills with his band Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire. This was followed by Oh! The Grandeur in 1998. Both albums were heavily influenced by traditional folk, pre-war jazz and swing, with Bird relying on the violin as his primary musical instrument.
In 2001, Bird released The Swimming Hour, his third release with the Bowl of Fire and a dramatic departure from previous recordings. The Swimming Hour featured a mixture of styles, from the zydeco-influenced "Core and Rind" to more straightforward rock songs. He has often referred to this CD as his "jukebox album".
The Bowl of Fire unofficially disbanded in 2003, but featured many skilled Chicago musicians including Kevin O'Donnell, Nora O'Connor, Andy Hopkins (aka Mr. Rudy Day), Jimmy Sutton, Colin Bunn and Ryan Hembrey.
Bird released two subsequent solo albums distributed through the label operated by Ani DiFranco, Righteous Babe Records. The two CDs, 2003's Weather Systems (originally released on Grimsey records) and 2005's The Mysterious Production of Eggs continue a progression towards an eclectic indie/folk sound that is challenging to classify. In addition to the guitar, Bird's songs often feature violin, glockenspiel, and his very proficient whistling.
The artist's live solo shows have been notable in that he uses a multi-track system to sample and loop his own performance. For example, he may record a snippet of his performance on violin, then play a "loop" of that sound. This provides a more full-bodied sound and aurally suggests a band performance, rather than the sound of a solo artist. Once, at a gig in Amsterdam, at the Paridiso, he needed more movement on his feet in order to work the loop pedals, so he kicked off his shoe and hit a person in the audience. He later said "I should have simply twiddled my toes at her".
His live performances are highlighted in a series of self-released live compilations, Fingerlings, Fingerlings 2, and Fingerlings 3. Each Fingerlings EP was released prior to a studio release and presents live versions of old tracks, cover songs, songs penned by Bird that do not appear on studio albums, and live versions of future tracks. Fingerlings 3, released in October 2006, also features studio outtakes.
In September 2006, Bird was signed to Fat Possum Records. His latest full-length solo album, Armchair Apocrypha, was released in March 2007. The album was recorded in collaboration with electronic musician Martin Dosh. It includes a track by Martin Dosh called "Simple X," with lyrics by Bird. The song first appeared without lyrics as "Simple Exercises" on Dosh's 2004 release, Pure Trash. The album was produced by Ben Durrant, who also worked with Martin Dosh on 2006's The Lost Take. Haley Bonar and Chris Morrissey also appear on the album. Armchair Apocrypha leaked to the internet in mid-January 2007.
In January 2007, Andrew Bird made an appearance on the Noggin television network's Jack's Big Music Show. He played character "Dr. Stringz" and sang a brief song written specifically for the episode and not found on any albums.
On April 10, 2007, Bird made his network television debut, performing "Plasticities" from Armchair Apocrypha on the Late Show with David Letterman.
On April 20, 2007, NPR aired a live concert with Andrew Bird & Band.