Andrew Bird: Chicago-based film score composer, multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Andrew Bird picked up his first violin at the age of four and spent his formative years soaking up classical repertoire completely by ear. As a teen Bird became interested in a variety of styles including early jazz, country blues and folk music, synthesizing them into his unique brand of pop. Since beginning his recording career in1997 he has released 11 albums and played thousands of shows. Bird has gone on to record with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, and festivals worldwide. Recently Bird composed his first ever film score for the movie Norman (hailed as “a probing, thoughtful score” by The New York Times), contributed to the soundtrack of The Muppets and collaborated with inventor Ian Schneller on Sonic Arboretum, an installation that debuted at New York’s Guggenheim Museum and exhibited at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2012, he released two albums, Break It Yourself, and Hands of Glory, an acoustic companion album. He’s recently been performing with Tift Merritt, developing a children’s TV show, and writing for his next album.
Tift Merritt: I’ve always had a taste for traveling alone,” Tift Merritt sings in the title track of her fifth album. This time around, she got to prove it, “calling the shots myself and letting myself go wherever I needed to go” at a point in time when she was a free agent without label or manager. But the song does also conclude that “Everybody here is traveling alone,” a realization that places as much value on community as iconoclasm. And Merritt put together her “dream cast” of fellow travelers to play on Traveling Alone, which found its happy home at her new label, Yep Roc. The road less taken doesn’t preclude good company.