Between albums, Andrew Bird has been steadily releasing Fingerlings discs - collections of odds and ends, mostly live - via andrewbird.net. Now that would not be especially interesting in itself unless Andrew Bird wasn't one of the best artists most people have never heard of. Imagine the spontaneity and warm melodic flow of Jeff Buckley with a Tom Waits instrumental sense.
Andrew Bird can't easily be pigeonholed - he is who David Byrne wishes he could be, Brian Wilson 40 years on, Beck with taste. Fingerlings 3 follows 2005's incredible Mysterious Production of Eggs with a few live recordings from that album, and throws in some new recordings from his home studio (a couple of which will feature on next year's new album). Not one track is less than hypnotic, mesmeric and captivating - even the covers of Son House and Handsome Family songs.
Bird uses violin, guitar and his gentle voice in such a sophisticated manner, it is easy to see why mainstream popularity may well stay out of reach - how wonderful for the rest of us.