Elvis Costello celebrated the release of his "Sacred, Profane & Sugarcane" album with an intimate solo acoustic show yesterday (June 2) in Manhattan's financial district.
Costello performed a nearly hour-long 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-a-long "Sulpher 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 Anderson and his interview style on his own "Spectacle" television show.
Costello played solo for this show, but next week kicks a brief tour with the Sugarcanes, a band featuring many of the musicians who played on the new album. Costello is playing solo acoustic at the Bonnaroo festival, does several Japanese gigs with his regular band the Imposters, and then picks back up with the Sugarcanes for more dates at the end of the summer.