Hooray for Covers! Andrew Bird, “Trials, Troubles, Tribulations”

I didn’t have a stake in last night’s game, so congratulations to all the cheeseheads and sympathies to Steelers fans. There’s probably not much point in speculating how many of my coworkers will be in with vicious hangovers, as they were through drowning their Broncos-related sorrows several weeks ago. Still, any national spectacle of weekend overindulgence offers an opportunity for Monday morning repentance.

How wonderful that we can have a soundtrack!

In listening to a tape of Andrew Bird’s show in Santa Cruz, CA from 1/28, I discovered that he’s one of the cool kids that will cover my favorite kind of bluegrass gospel tune (seriously, is this a thing now?): the kind that tells you, with great cheer, exactly where you’re going and exactly what’s going to happen if you don’t straighten up. “Trials, Troubles, Tribulations”, by E.C. Ball, certainly fits that bill. Recorded first for the Library of Congress by John Lomax, “Tribulations” is one of those songs that feels like nobody wrote it. Bird’s cover in Santa Cruz is pretty excellent. Here’s another Bird cover from Nashville, featuring some pretty excellent guitar work by Jeremy Ylvisaker, and some good close harmony by the two of them and Mike Lewis.

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