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Hear Bonnie Prince Billy and Bros Cover Trad Folk Songs

Posted by Miss Ess, December 19, 2008 03:43pm | Post a Comment
The most exciting thing that's happened to me today so far is the discovery of Bonnie Prince Billy and Captain Anomoanan's 2006 NYC Joe's Pub shows in MP3 form on the Aquarium Drunkard site.

will, ned and paul oldham
Photo by Natasha Tylea

The shows consist of three Oldham brothers: Will (Bonnie Prince Billy) along with Ned and Paul. Ned and Paul were in Palace and Palace Brothers with Will and one or more of them often accowill oldhammpany Will on tour, playing in his band. These two nights at Joe's Pub are fabled in part because they are simply the three brothers together, singing onstage by themselves with acoustic guitars, and also because their sets consist almost completely of traditional folk songs, songs that cannot be heard as done by the Oldhams anywhere else to my knowledge. The backstory here is that the Oldhams' father had very recently died and they dedicated the shows to him and his memory. I'd imagine the set consists of songs they heard at home in their youth. Listening carefully, the songs themselves are touching and well-chosen, and knowing that the Kentucky-born Oldhams are singing to their father makes them all the more so.

The song selections reflect both death and rebirth, sadness and hope, from "We Will Understand It Better By and By" to "Next Tibonnie prince billy is it the seame the Sun Comes Around" and "We Shall All Be Reunited" to "Goodbye Dear Old Stepstone." The singing is all ramshackle harmonies, very Oldham-esque and yet traditional. I really recommend checking these songs out. You can hear them here. Note that one set from the four shows over two days is missing.

In other Will Oldham news, he will soon be seen yet again on the big screen in Kelly Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy, also starring Michelle WIlliams. He also has a new album, Beware, coming out on March 16. If you want to hear more live music from Bonnie Prince Billy, he recently released Is It the Sea?, a recording of tracks from shows that took place on BPB's tour of Scotland and Ireland, also from 2006. The vinyl has two hidden tracks!

Relevant Tags

Will Oldham (13), Bonnie Prince Billy (16), Captain Anomoan (1), Palace (2)