Redbird is both the name of an album and of a loose affiliation of four American songwriters that began to take shape during a common tour experience. In early 2003, Kris Delmhorst, Jeffrey Foucault, and Peter Mulvey toured together in England as an Americana triple-bill. England is a small country and the drives were not long, and it developed that in the afternoons after checking into their hotel rooms they’d pull up chairs, plug in the electric tea kettle, uncase their guitars, and start playing songs. Any song, if it was good, and they hadn’t already played it, and they knew the first few lines. Old or new songs, written by other people mostly, jazz ballads or country crooners, blues or Bowie, the Beatles or anything else, all the late greats and plenty of neither, anything as long as it had the right spirit. Something like a poker game played without hard money, and everyone pushing their little pile of strange coins and trinkets, pocketknife or compass, to the middle of the table to be reckoned.