Charismatic concert with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
“Oldham eschews traditional genre labels, but his deeply emotional, sometimes primitive acoustic songs, resonate with a rare beauty and literary vision”
– National Public Radio
At this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Rolling Stone magazine described Bonnie Prince Billy’s appearance as “one of its most unconventionally charismatic performances.”
In a high-mountain warble “that can be described only as miraculous” (New York Times), Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Will Oldham – sings austerely beautiful songs about abandoned meadows and carnal love, charging loss with fragile transcendence.
Stalked by ghosts, Oldham’s music is as powerful as his capacity for self-invention. In his newest guise the shape-shifting Kentucky native continues to expose genuine aspects of himself.
After stints performing as Palace, Palace Songs, Palace Brothers, and under his own name throughout the ’90s, by the end of the decade Will Oldham seemed to finally settle on the Bonnie “Prince” Billy moniker as the main outlet for his work.
Regardless of the name he used to release his music or the musicians supporting him, Oldham’s style remained largely the same, pitting often sparse music against his world-weary voice and literate lyrics.
Johnny Cash recorded Bonnie Prince Billy’s song “I See a Darkness” on his album American III: Solitary Man, for which Oldham provided background vocals.
Opening the show will be Nevada County trio Lasher Keen. The band formed in 2006 and recording the self-titled LP in San Francisco.
Working to formulate a band made up of non-standard instrumentation, Dylan Sheets met Bluebird and Sage Arias who would prove to be versatile in musicianship and creative output. Following the release, Lasher Keen toured the U.S., France, Germany and Austria where a string of performances earned them new fans and interest from an Austrian label – Steinklang Industries.
After returning to the states work began on a new album; “Wither” was released on the winter solstice of 2009.
Lasher Keen features Dylan Sheets on guitar, accordion barbatos, vocals, drums and sticks; Bluebird on bodran, vocals, cello, violin and tin whistle; and Sage Arias on bass, glockenspiel, drums, mandolin, tin whistle and banjo.
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