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Bonnie Prince Billy

Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You

    Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You – an album made as it was meant to be heard, in a room. The sound of people together – a sound we’d so recently feared that we’d lost – playing, communing, strings and wood and keys and voices singing. KSWDY presents simply, and is sung along easily and happily with in time BUT --is it family portrait or fairy tale? How does it think the world was made, and will end?

    Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You was recorded in Louisville by Nick Roeder, featuring Sara Louise Callaway on violin, Kendall Carter on keys, Elisabeth Fuchsia on viola and violin, Dave Howard on Mandolin, Drew Miller on saxophone and Dane Waters’ voice. The presence of so many local players and music educators in the band lends not only to a flow of moments so fluidly encompassing of a wide range of musics from classical to Japanese acid folk and elsewhere, but perhaps even more importantly, to the sense of community, heredity and the triumph of inheritance that is the marrow and life blood of this music. 


    Barry says: Though 'Keeping secrets...' is undoubtedly one of BPB's quietest outings in terms of its instrumentation, drawing beauty from a reasonably unadorned mixture of guitar strings and vocals, the depth of feeling and scope of the result is astounding. Heartwarming folky balladry abound, all pulled together with Oldham's unmatched sensitivity.


    1. Like It Or Not
    2. Behold! Be Held!
    3. Bananas
    4. Blood Of The Wine
    5. Sing Them Down Together
    6. Kentucky Is Water
    7. Willow, Pine And Oak
    8. Trees Of Hell
    9. Rise And Rule (She Was Born In Honolulu)
    10. Queens Of Sorrow
    11. Crazy Blue Bells
    12. Good Morning, Popocatépetl

    Bill Callahan And Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

    Blind Date Party

      The Blind Date Party hosted by Bill Callahan and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and featuring AZITA, Matt Sweeney, Alasdair Roberts, Matt Kinsey, Sean O’Hagan, Bill MacKay, George Xylouris, Dead Rider, David Pajo, Mick Turner, Meg Baird, Ty Segall, Emmett Kelly, Cory Hanson, Six Organs of Admittance, David Grubbs, Cassie Berman, Cooper Crain and Sir Richard Bishop happened online in the fall and winter of ’20–’21 — but the party planning dated back to the spring of 2020. Stuck at home, with no gigs in the foreseeable future, Bill, Bonnie and Drag City needed an outreach program to keep themselves busy, not to mention sane. In the absence of any company or anything on the calendar, playing songs they loved was an idea; playing with people they loved, the desire. And making it fun — so pairing someone with someone else having no say in the matter, the essence of the blind date, was the plan. Favorite songs were chose; players from around the Drag City galaxy were messaged. Pretty soon, songs were flying back and forth — music in the air!

      And thus, they were entertained throughout the summer of 2020, when so much else in the world seemed so completely wrong. By the fall, the songs started to appear online: Bill and Bonnie singing a song by someone they loved and admired; each song cut by another another artist they loved and admired, then sent to Bill and Bonny to provide the finishing touches. The spotlight pointed in every direction each week: toward the singers and writers who’d originally played the songs (Yusuf Islam, Hank Williams Jr., Dave Rich, The Other

      Years, Billie Eilish, Steely Dan, Lou Reed, Bill Callahan, Jerry Jeff Walker, Robert Wyatt, Lowell George, Johnnie Frierson, Air Supply, Will Oldham, Leonard Cohen, David Berman, Iggy Pop and John Prine), toward their featured collaborators, the artists whose artwork adorned each digital single and videos made by still more collaborators. And you, the listener.

      Like the best parties, it turned out to be everything and more than they’d even hoped for. So many more people were involved in the process that we can get on the page here. Suffice to say, making records over the years has required a broad sense of community and an always-surprising mix of independence and unity, inspiration and utility. Some of our best memories are those where as many of our folks as as possible were together in one place at one time. In those moments, it was just a great thing just to be there. And with others looking in . . . this was a joy one could only be infinitely lucky to feel and to take for granted, as well.

      The Blind Date Party was one of these, maybe the most improbable one yet. It’s for everyone who’s here and it’s in the name of everyone who’s gone but will never go and will always live with us here. This album will too.

      And thus, we are entertained.


      Darryl says: Combining the best elements of each others talents 'Blind Date Party' finds Bill and Will in fabulous form. Mellow, dark, country-folk laments to snuggle up to during the cold winter months.


      The Blackness Of The Night (feat. Azita)
      OD'd In Denver (feat. Matt Sweeney)
      I've Made Up My Mind (feat. Alasdair Roberts)
      Red-Tailed Hawk (feat. Matt Kinsey)
      Wish You Were Gay (feat. Sean O'Hagan)
      Our Anniversary (feat. Dead Rider)
      Rooftop Garden (feat. George Xylouris)
      Deacon Blues (feat. Bill MacKay)
      I Love You (feat. David Pajo)
      Sea Song (feat. Mick Turner)
      I've Been The One (feat. Meg Baird)
      Miracles (feat. Ty Segall)
      I Want To Go To The Beach (feat. Cooper Crain)
      Night Rider's Lament (feat. Cory Hanson)
      Arise, Therefore (feat. Six Organs Of Admittance)
      The Night Of Santiago (feat. David Grubbs)
      The Wild Kindness (feat. Cassie Berman)
      Lost In Love (feat. Emmett Kelly)
      She Is My Everything (feat. Sir Richard Bishop)

      Matt Sweeney & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy


        Where once was Superwolf, now roam Superwolves, the new album and demon spawn of Matt Sweeney and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

        The songs that make up Superwolves, the duo’s second album and first since 2005’s Superwolf, go boldly into undreamed-of places, and go deep, as Matt and Bonny take all the musics they know to make songs that penetrate. In classic Garcia-Hunter style, Sweeney and the ‘Prince’ first work separately, finding a path to each other in their solitary imaginings. Bonnie lyric sets delivered to Matt spark Sweeney’s guitar brain; chords and a melody are shaped, recorded fast and loose and sent back to the Prince, then the two parties meet up to sing, stitch, strengthen and finally perform them together in front of a small unsuspecting audience. Then new sets of lyrics are sent, animated and played in a high wire style until the shared songs and experiences are ready to commit to record. This is just the beginning of their fusion process, as words imply vocalizations to counter and support, and guitar lines suggest harmonic fields to subtly push into. In this process, a new creature grows out of the old one. In this name of this partnership, the guitar shares an open and fluid space with the vocals, the voices sing with the guitars—every moment in the life of Superwolves is an extravaganza, guided only by its need.

        “The chemistry comes from lives, lived separately, in which music is crucial sustenance. We listen with gratitude and awe, knowing that we belong in there. We construct our dream selves with the faith that these selves will have their chance at life. We know what we are capable of doing and just need each other’s support to bring the imagined languages to life.” — Will Oldham

        “I love the challenge to write melodies for Will to sing. Struggle with that challenge too. Knowing that Will’s voice will elevate the melody makes me reach higher and dig deeper for the tune. Makes me want to match it with a guitar part that holds his voice like a chalice holds wine (or blood, or whatever is needed to live the best life). I also love singing harmonies and responses to this voice of his.” — Matt Sweeney

        As far as this record, as in when and how it came together, the two man crew started working on it five years ago. The first actual session, however, went down about a year ago at Brooklyn’s Strange Weather and the next took place at the Butcher Shoppe in Nashville. Sweeney oversaw the mixing of the Brooklyn sessions with Oldham overseeing the Nashville mixes. On the album, Sweeney sings harmonies along, with, and around his favorite singer, and plays all electric, acoustic, and bass guitars, joined in places by David Ferguson on stand-up bass, Mike Coltun on electric bass, Mdou Moctar on electric lead, Ahmoudou Madassane on rhythm guitar, Souleyman Ibrahim, Ryan Sawyer and Peter Townsend on drums and Mike Rojas on keys. The Bonnie ‘Prince’ sings. Does he ever. And Superwolves rules over all.


        Barry says: This is a perfect collaborative effort from Sweeney & Oldham here, offsetting BPB's sometimes saccharine vocal style with Sweeney's brilliantly dynamic guitar playing. There are moments of stunning minimalistic bliss ('Resist The Urge') or more psychedelic grooving force ('Hall Of Death') but this is a constantly confounding and rewarding listen.


        1. Make Worry For Me
        2. Good To My Girls
        3. God Is Waiting
        4. Hall Of Death
        5. Shorty’s Ark
        6. I Am A Youth Inclined To Ramble
        7. My Popsicle
        8. Watch What Happens
        9. Resist The Urge
        10. There Must Be A Someone
        11. My Blue Suit
        12. My Body Is My Own
        13. You Can Regret What You Have Done
        14. Not Fooling

        Bonny sings Susanna, to simply try and save the world. Sonata Dwarf Mix Cosmos is an old companion of his and with the Chijimi house band +1 they bring it all back home again, this time to the space in Bonny’s place.

        “As other practitioners are leaving the room in favor of novel forms of recording and distro and consumption, we are left with a virtual PALACE, fantastical and real structures and practices. Like we are allowed into the museum at night. We can make a great essentially live record with great songs and great players because nobody else is? ‘Wolf Of The Cosmos’... is about, as much as anything, direct engagement with recorded music. So step right up to the replicant.” - Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

        Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy is joined by musicians Emmet Kelly (bass guitar, voice, acoustic guitar), Cheyenne Mize (violin, slide ukulele, voice), Chris Rodahaffer (banjo, voice, acoustic guitar) and Elsa Madeline Oldham (juice harp).

        “‘Wolf Of The Cosmos’ is a wonderful obsessive trip into the mind of one of the most important living singers” - Country Music


        Barry says: Beautifully emotive country-tinged plucks, BPB's unmistakable voice and softly pulled strings make for an enchanting an absorbing journey. Yet more evidence of the unwavering excellence of one of today's most successful singer-songwriters. Brilliantly fresh, but comfortable and familiar.


        Born In The Desert
        People Living
        For You
        Better Days
        Demon Dance
        Home Recording
        We Offer

        With ‘Best Troubador’, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy pays homage to a longtime and forever hero, the late Merle Haggard.

        A singer who, some 25 years previously, first performed in public by playing a Merle Haggard song, Bonny has often cited Merle’s work in performance, on records and in conversation with anyone who was around, even talking to Merle himself for Filter magazine in 2009.

        ‘Best Troubador’ flips through his song book, landing on pages unmoored from their time and located anew. Moving from 1978 to 1969 to 2003 to 1981 allows the album to circle Haggard’s music in a simulation of thought and memory, slipping around from spot to spot as if they were discrete impressions, unknown but knowable yet.


        Barry says: Superbly uplifting plucked guitars, swooning woodwind and Mr. Billy's sweet but serious vocal delivery. It's a wonder that there could be any more gold flowing from this supremely talented songwriter, yet it continues. Touching, beautiful and sublime.


        The Fugitive
        I’m Always On A Mountain When I Fall
        The Day The Rains Came
        Haggard (Like I’ve Never Been Before)
        I Always Get Lucky With You
        My Old Pal
        Roses In The Winter
        Some Of Us Fly
        Wouldn’t That Be Something
        That’s The Way Love Goes
        Nobody’s Darling
        What I Hate (Excerpt)
        I Am What I Am
        If I Could Only Fly

        Trembling Bells And Bonnie "Prince" Billy

        The Bonnie Bells Of Oxford

          On 2012's The Marble Downs, Bonnie Prince Billy provided vocals for an album of songs by Trembling Bells. It was a fruitful meeting of mind and voice, but one that promised the real bounty when those songs were taken on the road.

          That was delivered in summer of that year when the Bells & Bonnie revue brought their own brand of rolling thunder to parts of the UK. This live album, The Bonnie Bells Of Oxford, captures the highlights of one of those special shows on vinyl and CD.

          The transatlantic recording of The Marble Downs is now distilled to a room on one night in Oxford town, and the force of the songs and performance concentrated similarly. It stands as a more genuinely collaborative record than its predecessor, with songs drawn from the oeuvres of both artists and reworked with a joyous spontaneity. Tensions are dissolved in this heady brew, between warring lovers, goat and ram, dark and light, heaven & hell, country and folk, this world and the next, a rhapsodic dialectic embodied by the ouborous vocals of Bonnie Billy & Lavinia Blackwall. It's a giddy whirling carnival ride over all too soon, which is the supreme advantage of having this on vinyl; when dizzy and reeling and eager for more, just wheel it up and go again.

          No live album can substitute for the precious fleetingness of music heard live but the best of them can offer something else, a document, recorded proof almost that something special was created on that stage on that night by those musicians in front of that audience. More importantly, a chance to create and hear something special yourself every time you spin this record.

          Bitchin Bajas And Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

          Epic Jammers And Fortunate Little Ditties

          YES! An unlikelier of collabs on the face of it comes to pass, and makes SO much sense upon consideration that you wonder why you hadn’t rioted for your right to experience this sooner. Chill, man! Life gave you a surprise — a missing peace — now GO with it.

          Yessir, Bitchin Bajas and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy be in righteous and TRUE collaboration on this one, flowing ideas through the air between them, which seems a rare thing in this age where records course forth without wires, pieced together out of the zeros and ones that divide and don’t define us. The air’s meant to be shared, and that’s how Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties came to pass — a morning, afternoon and evening of frisson in blissed acceptance of the eternal recurrence. And it always came.

          These guys GET each other. They share a passion for arresting the moment in the process of now, and both of ’em get music from this action in their way. Bajas have a fan in Bonny; their ability to stretch time and get in between the grains scratches his itch to LIVE in those instances. And this makes him a worthy co-jammer, a fourth plane to the BB triangle that quantifies and dimensionalizes the sound. Inevitable, then, that they’d do something. Their first blend was for the Shirley Collins tribute comp, a rendition of “Pretty Saro” that built from the starkness and tonal monophony of the auld ballads and opened the hatch to timeless stasis. But if more was desired (which it was), more would be needed — the full trio of Bajas in the room together, in audience with the ‘Prince.’ Following one of their many mini-jaunts around the country, Bitchin Bajas stopped by Bonnie’s aerie one day after tour to make it so.

          It was an epic and fortunate day.

          Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties contains moments of tranquility and trance, with the players integrating their separate ways, vibing off each other, making songs together. Bonny is at his spiritmelting celestial best wandering through a lifetime of fortunes that amount, when incanted, to a prayer to the god of many names. The Bajas’ access to the universal aural paintbox is unparalleled; their reach is deep. And it all went down onto a 2-track reel-toreel in primitive left-right seps that helped to define their ability to finish it in mixing. These WERE jams, with whatever preparation, gear, thought and cords — vocal and electric — backgrounded, in support of intuition and what existed AT THE MOMENT.

          Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties is simple and stark and empyrean and inspirational...and pretty modal, too — probably never more than three chords! — as Bonny and the Bajas pursue the life of the spirit down ever-fading vapor trails, in a bottomless (and topless — let ’em loose!) space.


          1 May Life Throw You A Pleasant Curve
          2 Nature Makes Us For Ourselves
          3 Your Heart Is Pure, Your Mind Is Clear, Your Soul Devout
          4 Your Whole Family Are Well
          5 Despair Is Criminal
          6 You Are Not Superman
          7 Show Your Love And Your Love Will Be Returned
          8 You Will Soon Discover How Truly Fortunate You Really Are
          9 Your Hard Work Is About To Pay Off, Keep On Keeping On

          Bonnie Prince Billy

          Singer's Grave A Sea Of Tongues

            Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s new album ‘Singer’s Grave A Sea Of Tongues’ is released on Domino.

            At the locus of five corners, mythos is in the wind; a sea of tongues boils forth, mountains spurting forth from the magma. Bonnie sings for who he was and will be and for all of us, in time.

            Bonnie Billy has been quoted as saying that one of the songs on the album is a conceptual track that’s about “one day in 1973 when only two people died in the whole world.”

            TRACK LISTING

            Night Noises
            So Far And Here We Are
            There Will Be Spring
            Quail And Dumplings
            We Are Unhappy
            It’s Time To Be Clear
            Old Match
            Mew Black Rich (Tusks)
            Sailor’s Grave A Sea Of Sheep

            Trembling Bells & Bonnie Prince Billy

            New Trip On The Old Wine


              RSD 2014 exclusive. 500 pressing, picture bag.

              Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie Prince Billy

              What The Brothers Sang

                A collection of songs performed by Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy as learnt from The Everly Brothers. As children, the music of The Everly Brothers touched Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy; it touches Dawn’s children and the little ‘prince’ within Bonnie today, and makes them dance and sing.

                ‘What The Brothers Sang’ is no mere gesture of nostalgia. These new versions rethink The Everly Brothers for the audience of listeners today; people who naturally might have no previous knowledge or experience of these songs.

                For this 2010 album of songs, Bonny Billy and The Cairo Gang together have built a bridge forward, assembled with riffs and bits from Emmett Kelly's guitar and the lyricism of Bonny's heart. But mostly, "The Wonder Show Of The World" was, in its making, about trust. It's a record made eye-to-eye in a room, close and careful, by and for a few men who wanted to be together, who wanted to make music that sounds as good to listen to as it did to make, and who in doing so forged something new in space, the wonder of you and of them.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Troublesome Houses
                2. Teach Me To Bear You
                3. With Cornstalks Or Among Them
                4. Sounds Are Always Begging, The
                5. Go Folks Go
                6. That's What Our Love Is
                7. Merciless And Great
                8. Where Wind Blows
                9. Someone Coming Through
                10. Kids

                Bonnie 'Prince' Billy


                  Will Oldham, AKA Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, here continues to carve his niche in the world of indie-Americana with "Beware", his seventh under his current alias. Where his preceding album, 2008's "Lie Down In The Light", was a reasonably cheerful and buoyant affair, one look at the song titles alone for this release indicate that Oldham is considerably less bright here. Titles such as "Beware Your Only Friend", "Death Final" and "I Don't Belong To Anyone" seem to suggest that the mood is significantly more sombre for this outing. The constants with Oldham, though, are his sparse arrangements and world-weary howling delivery, and "Beware" sees him continue to be a much-admired songwriter.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Beware Your Only Friend
                  2. You Can't Hurt Me Now
                  3. My Life's Work
                  4. Death Final
                  5. Heart's Arms
                  6. You Don't Love Me
                  7. You Are Lost
                  8. I Won't Ask Again
                  9. I Don't Belong To Anyone
                  10. There Is Something I Have To Say
                  11. I Am Goodbye
                  12. Without Work, You Have Nothing
                  13. Afraid Ain't Me

                  Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

                  I See A Darkness

                    After abandoning the Palace moniker for a straight-up solo career, Will Oldham seemed to lose his focus a bit, but rechristened as Bonnie Prince Billy, he's regained it in spades. Where his previous solo efforts sounded thrown-together and lacked real songcraft, "I See A Darkness" is probably Oldham's most consistent, rewarding batch of songs since the Palace Brothers 93 debut. For once, the ever-elusive Oldham sounds like he's making a genuine effort to communicate - the relatively straightforward (but still poetic) lyrics, nicely arranged (but still lo-fi) sonic backdrops, and song structures with hummable (!) choruses are all unprecedented and highly agreeable developments. The titular darkness pervades much of the album, but there's an underlying warmth that shines through, making this an emotionally well-balanced effort. A Bonnie Prince Billy classic!!!

                    Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

                    Lie Down In The Light

                      "Lie Down In The Light" is the ninth Bonnie 'Prince' Billy album, and his first proper album release since 2006's "The Letting Go". It is the brightest album to date from the Bonnie 'Prince'. Brisk tempos skip among his signature slower numbers and ballads. Bonnie's vocals are among his most expressive: carefully nuanced, singing all up and down his range, showing him at a judiciously dynamic and tuneful apex. The album features Bonnie repeat players Paul Oldham and Emmett Kelly and also benefits from the multi-instrumental presence of Shahzad Izmaily, who works percussion, piano, guitar, banjo and the mysterious, sensual 'row of wrenches'. New (duet) partner Ashley Webber forges her own presence next to Bonnie in a pair of fantastic turns. Additionally, some of Nashville's finest appear in between the band's strings and harrows, adding light (and yeah, we see a little darkness too) wherever they appear.

                      Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

                      Ask Forgiveness

                        After a devastating string of full-lengths in the early 2000s culminating in the one-two punch of 2005's collaboration with Matt Sweeney, "Superwolf", and 2006's wrenching "The Letting Go", Will Oldham seemed to be in a state of letting go himself. He re-energized his acting career with Old Joy and a goofy appearance in a Kanye West video; wrote "His Hands", the title track to soul singer Candi Staton's comeback record; and backed up Tortoise on an odd album that featured - among other throwaways - a cover of Springsteen's "Thunder Road". "Ask Forgiveness", a mini-album of his own covers, finds Oldham back in fine form even as it chips away at his hard-earned gravitas. Recorded on a lark in Philadelphia with members of the homegrown folkie outfit Espers, "Ask Forgiveness" finds Oldham lending his trademark warble to a diverse array of numbers. While Phil Ochs, Bjork, Thom Yorke, and Danzig are all given the Palace brother's spacious and shambolic indie-folk makeover here, the collection's stand-out is R. Kelly's "World's Greatest", within which Oldham discovers an earnest heart.

                        Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

                        The Letting Go

                          Like 2003's "Master And Everyone", "The Letting Go" is a quiet, introspective record that examines the human heart, but the songs here equal or better those on its excellent predecessor. Oldham's insight into the politics of self and relationships is unflinching, and his wordplay, which balances surreal poetry with heartbreaking confessionals, is at its peak. Sonically, "The Letting Go" is expansive, adding strings, subtle percussion, and ambient effects that enhance but never crowd the songs. Harmony vocalist Dawn McCarthy contributes gorgeous textures to the mix of blues, country, folk, and minstrel-like elements, and all of it makes a persuasive case that Oldham has grown into an artist of striking vision and emotional power.

                          Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

                          Greatest Palace Music

                            Following on from his masterpiece, "Master & Everyone", Bonnie Prince Billy (aka Palace aka Palace Brothers aka Will Oldham) returns with "Greatest Palace Music", which is a Nashville recorded, technicolor re-rendering of the fans' favourite Palace songs. Moving away from the sparseness of previous releases, the playful attention to melody here will entice a whole new audience, without (fans will be pleased to know) compromising the emotion and honesty at the core of Will Oldham's work.

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