AOL: You've recorded several arrangements of 'Everyday I Write the Book.' How did you come up the countryish version you played today?
Costello: Well, we really took advantage of the sound of this group, the Sugarcanes, which are among the people playing on this album. 'National Ransom.' They were also the band on the previous recording I made, 'Secret, Profane and Sugarcane,' and we have a lot of vocal harmony in the group, and that's the thing I never had in the Attractions. Davey Faragher of the Imposters is a great harmony singer, but it's just the two of us. But to have three or four voices on some of these songs just allows you to hear the songs in a new way. When I went out on the road in 2009 with the Ssugarcanes playing the songs from 'Secret, Profane and Sugarcane,' we quickly found that we deeply enjoyed playing some of the older songs and tried to find a way that they sounded natural with the timbres of this group. The instrumentation and the fact that I had vocal harmony, really, for the first time inspired me to write songs and really sort of fill in the gaps in our set, and some of those songs were completed by last summer. The rest of the songs that I wrote really demanded the presence of Steve [Nieve] on the piano, Marc [Ribot] on the electric guitar and then really, incidentally, we were able to have Leon Russell come in and piano on one song I wrote with him, and T Bone Burnett. Vince Gill added a harmony to a song called 'Dr. Watson I Presume,' Buddy Miller added a vocal harmony to 'National Ransom.' So they're just on one track each, really the luxury was in having these two groups and the songs dictating the ensemble, and in some cases it's just me and my guitar and Dennis Crouch playing bass. Some of the recordings are the quietist ones I've made. Their most intimate with a small guitar like this and sit right with the voice.