Bonnie Prince BillyHummingbird
DETAILSEvent: Record Store Day 2012
Release Date: 4/21/2012
Format: 10" Vinyl
Label: Spiritual Pajamas
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
Is it safe to say that Will Oldham has rarely met a recording device he didn’t like? The man who goes by Bonnie 'Prince' Billy continues to document feverishly--and yet with fine discrimination--via a steady march through the canon of modern music: rock, country, gospel, keep on listing...
The great Leon Russell’s “Hummingbird” anchors this new 10 inch, and Bonny and his assembled cast of LA musicians render it an exercise in contrast. Using Russell’s famed Shelter Records soundboard for this one-off session--with its memories of Petty and Cale, and now owned by one Jonathan Wilson--Bonny introduces a pallet of musical soundscapes including the keys of "Farmer" Dave Scher, the porch-stomp grooves of Entrance Band rhythm section Paz and Derek and the claps of a thousand hands before letting the song "fly away" in a breeze of soulful psychedelia that stretches nearly twice the original’s length.
Next up: a cover of the traditional “Tribulations,” with Cairo Gang mainman Emmett Kelly, in a purely Appalachian reflection on judgment and fear and all manner of Old Testament threat.
Rounding out this powerful trio with a nod to Lightnin' Hopkins and Michael Hurley, Bonny makes another run (this time all by his lonesome) at Merle Haggard's "Because of Your Eyes". This one lo-fi, wooly, and unscrubbed with that recorded-in-a-kitchen-near-a-
bottle-of-whiskey sound which is often attempted but rarely nailed. Bonny hits it square.
This Record Store Day exclusive 10 inch on Spiritual Pajamas is being released in a one-time only pressing of 1000 copies.