The time separating Andrew Bird’s new album, Break It Yourself, from the record this song first appeared on, The Late Great Townes Van Zandt, amounts to 40 years, but you’re not likely to figure that out through Bird‘s cover alone. As per his nature, Bird brings “If I Needed You,” perhaps Van Zandt’s best-known song, a soft, solo, timeless rendition in front of an Amsterdam crowd. Originally appearing in 1972, the song famously became a hit for Emmylou Harris and Don Williams in 1981. And below, you can compare their version with a 1975 Van Zandt performance of the song and the Bird cover in question.
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