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Three Queens In Mourning / Bonnie Prince Billy

Hello Sorrow, Hello Joy

    Three Queens in Mourning first gathered in summit to sing celebration of the publication of Will Oldham’s book of collected lyrics, Songs of Love and Horror. Alasdair Roberts (Appendix Out), Jill O' Sullivan (Jill Lorean), and Alex Neilson (Trembling Bells, Alex Rex) each arrived provisioned with a small armful of selections nearest and dearest from Bonnie Prince Oldham’s far-reaching catalogue.

    Three Queens in Mourning’s takes on these tunes follow naturally from the fit between Will’s words and their three distinctive voices. Alasdair Roberts’ sweet, guileless delivery of “Christmas Time in the Mountains” amplifiesthe lacerating quality of the lyric “we need an enemy / I’m saving all my rage for you”; even if at the outset of the song we’re told that “time is the enemy,” the abiding sentiment—the red-hot word that organizes my memory of the song—is rage. Ali’s and Jill’s trading of verses on “New Partner” puts a different spin on what had previously registered as an especially mercurial first-person narrative voice, one that swoops between tenderness (“lay back, rest your head on my thighs”) and ecstatic self-absorption (breaking it to the ex to whom the song is addressed that “I’ve got a new partner riding with me”). Add Alex’s voice, not only for his madcap “Lost Blues,” but as part of the choir on “Ohio River Boat Song” (a song with origins in the traditional “Loch Tay Boat Song”), and these three Scottish accents singing about the muddy Ohio, Smoketown, Oldham County, and Floyds Knobs, I mean, there’s not much else this Kentuckian—these are all deeply familiar landmarks—can say. Type through tears. On this back to back records, The Bonnie 'Prince' Billy LP is a collection of three cover versions from Ali, Jill and Alex directory and one original track.

    Three Queens in Mourning / Bonnie 'Prince' Billy is a collaboration between Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billy), Alasdair Roberts (Appendix out / Drag City), Jill O Sullivan (Jill Lorean) and Alex Neilson (Trembling Bells, Alex Rex).


    Three Queen In Mourning / Bonnie Prince Billy (Will Oldham/Palace/BPB Covers)
    2/Christmas Time In The Mountains
    3/Lost Blues
    4/Madeleine Mary
    5/No More Workhorse Blues
    6/No Such As What I Want
    7/I See A Darkness
    8/Trudy Dies
    9/Tonight’s Decision
    11/New Partner
    12/Ohio Riverboat Song

    Bonnie Prince Billy
    13/Coral And Tar
    14/Coward Song
    15/Dead Man
    16/Wild Dandelion

    Jackie-O Motherfucker


      Recorded at Santo Studios in Oakland California over the past 3 years with a mostly new cast of musicians, Bloom continues the trajectory of JOMF’s explorations of song and sonic experimentation. The band is moving more slowly these days, with core members Tom Greenwood and Michael Whittaker living in the more rural corners of Northern California. Bloom is a patiently crafted record that tells its story through shifting emotional and sonic environments, starting in a vacant lot in far west Oakland, where the freeway meets the edge of the city. The lot was a storage area for the 50 ft. long and 8 ft. high steel pipes that would become the footings for the new Bay Bridge, sunken into the floor of the San Francisco Bay. The band met there regularly to play, and recorded dozens of hours of sounds from the beautifully reverb drenched atmosphere inside the pipes. The lyrically reflective songs that follow are coming through the lens of solitude, propelled by simple and often fragile structures. Bloom is the band 11th studio record, 7 years after their highly acclaimed “ballad of the revolution” album and is the culmination of 20 years spent defining their unique take on American music.

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