ALBUM REVIEW: Bonnie Prince Billy – Best Troubadour | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Released: 05.04.17
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Will Oldham’s reputation for being wilfully perverse and impossibly arch is well deserved but it’s often when he tackles other people’s material that he seems most sincere. As it was with last year’s Mekons album, so it is with this really wonderful collection of Merle Haggard songs that’s low on Hag’s hits but high on sheer quality.

Recorded at Oldham’s house with a band of friends after Hag’s death last year, the warmth of the sessions shines through. There’s a strong hint of early seventies Dylan here (some of the harmonies could be straight off Desire) and some really inventive arrangements (lots of rich brass and woodwind). I’ve no idea what Hag would make of it, but it’s pretty damn fine.

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