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Hands of Glory

4.7 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 30, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

2012 release from the acclaimed singer/songwriter. Coming on the heels of Bird's critically acclaimed full-length Break It Yourself, Hands Of Glory features a brand new original track, a pair of re-worked tracks from Break It Yourself and covers of songs by the Carter Family, the Handsome Family, Alpha Consumer and others. Hands of Glory was inspired by the great fan reaction to Bird's 'old-time' sets on tour in which his full band plays to a single microphone with an entirely acoustic setup.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 30, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: October 30, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: MOM & POP MUSIC
  • Run Time: 35 minutes
  • ASIN: B00975LJF4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,706 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on October 30, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I had Andrew Bird pegged. He is that guy that makes complicated sophisticated pop music and he whistles. He's got a sweet voice, and an interesting world view. Right? Well, apparently he's like an onion--he's got layers. Hands of Glory is as basic as you can get--just take some fantastic musicians, put them all around a single microphone, mix in some old-time tunes, and see where you go. I would never have put Bird in an Alt-Country label, but that is what you get here. Great harmonies, picked string instruments played with passion and skill, and some plaintive fiddles make this seem like something that could be happening on an especially blessed porch in Appalachia. If you are already a fan of Bird, then pick this up with complete confidence--it is so good, so relaxed, so well played, you will soon be sharing it with all your friends. A great and unexpected treat.
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This is the sort of music you might expect to hear at a dive bar somewhere in the American Southwest. Bird's fiddle rolls with golden-honey harmonies and a simple strummed backbone. A calm, warm quiet. Less whine than whimper. I didn't know a fiddle could do that.

A reviewer nailed the Hands-of-Glory experience when he said, "It doesn't shock or change the course of rivers, but it does invite, and welcome, and maybe pour you a cup of tea and ask about your day."
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I have four or five Andrew Bird albums, and love every one. This work, which features old-style sound (heavy on the fiddle) and a spiritual, sometimes gospel feel, features his rich voice and string workmanship. "Three White Horses," the opening piece, is my favorite. Critics have not raved about this album as they have his others, finding it a bit 'aw shuck-sy,' but I enjoy the country flavor and particularly like his rendition of "If I Needed You."
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I'm a fan of Andrew Bird's music. His last album didn't quite strike me, but this one hit me squarely between the eyes (and ears). The production quality is excellent and every song is a keeper. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. Andy gets back to his folk roots with this release. There's plenty of gorgeous violin work but I'll admit that I do miss his signature whistle on Hands of Glory. The epic final track "Beyond the Valley of the Three White Horses"; reprises the first song of the album and ties it all together in a nice neat bow. I often listen to this album at work on repeat, and never tire of it. I'd love to hear it live.

For fans of folk, Andrew Bird's more stripped down and thoughtful creations, ...and just plain good, authentic music -- then Hands of Glory should not disappoint.

~ Kort
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I saw Andrew Bird (with Tifft Merritt as guest violinist) on the David Letterman show and just had to buy his album (and one of hers, as well).

Wow--I love all kinds of music, bluegrass included. Andrew Bird plays unusual, but recognizable, tunes, modals, etc. I play it in my car on long country drives and love it more each time I take a trip.
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Admittedly I like most material from Mr. Bird so I'm biased. He's a super talented songwriter and player, and this release stands out in that it has a live acoustic, down home feel. I recommend turning it up loudly on a quality home audio system capable of playing the upright bass in this recording. It sounds awesome! And the track Orpheo, which has a simple melody, is beautiful. This release took more listens to "get" but after time I think it may be one of his best.
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I don't have words to describe how much I love Andrew Bird's music. He's an amazing musician who creates just beautiful sounds. This album is equally as impressive as his previous works. There's a noticeable lack of whistling on this album, and it feels more folky, but that doesn't mean I don't love it. Wonderful album!
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I love all of Andrew Bird, but I would have to say that this would have to be my least favorite of all of his cds, which is surprising, considering that it is said to be the other half of Break It Yourself. Any of Andrew Bird's other cds I would rate with an enthusiastic 5 stars, but this one just wasn't as impressing.
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