Costello celebrates new album with intimate NY show

Wed Jun 3, 2009 8:52pm EDT
 
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By David J. Prince

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Elvis Costello celebrated the release of his "Sacred, Profane & Sugarcane" album with an intimate solo acoustic show Thursday (June 2) in Manhattan's financial district.

Costello performed a nearly hourlong set for a small group of fans and radio station contest winners at Jim Brady's, a wood-paneled Irish pub near Wall Street. He focused almost entirely on songs from his freshly released album, a collection of Americana-style folk songs that was produced by T. Bone Burnett. Accompanied only by his own acoustic guitar, Costello ran through more than half of the new record's songs, including the melancholy "She Handed Me a Mirror," "Complicated Shadows," the location-appropriate "Down Among the Wines and Spirits," and the tongue-in-cheek sing-along "Sulphur to Sugarcane."

Costello also performed two new, as-yet-unreleased songs -- "Condemned Man" and the uptempo show-closer that's tentatively titled "Five Small Words."

Costello was introduced by the fresh-from-rehab Matt Pinfield, former host of MTV's "120 Minutes" and current morning drive DJ on New York radio station WRXP. Pinfield also conducted a wide-ranging live interview with Costello, who talked about such divergent topics as the album's musicians, collaborating with Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash, working with the Royal Danish Opera, the life of Hans Christian Andersen and his interview style on his own "Spectacle" television show.

Next week, Costello kicks off a brief tour with the Sugarcanes, a band featuring many of the musicians who played on the new album. Costello's tour calendar includes a solo acoustic performance at the Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee and several Japanese gigs with his regular band the Imposters before he heads back out with the Sugarcanes for more dates at the end of the summer.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

 
<p>Recording artist Elvis Costello performs during a benefit dinner for the Elton John Aids Foundation in New York, October 3, 2006. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>