Sings Greatest Palace Music

Sings Greatest Palace Music

by Bonnie "Prince" BillyBonnie "Prince" Billy


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At last, a Will Oldham release for everyone. One of the indie underground's most idiosyncratic artists, Oldham has built up a catalogue of achingly poetic, rootsy rock songs that can be lonesome, creepy, winking, or anywhere in between. For Greatest Palace Music, he headed to Nashville to record new versions of old favorites. While his craggy voice remains the centerpiece, the arrangements are markedly different, with a cast of top-notch session players offering pedal steel, female harmonies, piano, fiddle, and mandolin to supplant the haunting, stripped-down early recordings. The loping ballad "Agnes, Queen of Sorrow," for example, was a spare, acoustic guitar-driven recording on the 1994 EP Hope, but here it's a transcendent duet buoyed by Mike Johnson's gorgeous pedal steel playing, Stuart Duncan's moaning fiddle, and Bruce Watkins's crisp acoustic guitar solo. Other songs are more thoroughly retrofitted: "Ohio River Boat Song," a dramatic dirge on Oldham's debut single from '93, is transformed into a richly arranged up-tempo number. Most striking of all is "Pushkin," an unsettling prayer backed by acoustic guitar on 1994's Days in the Wake, where Oldham weakly asserted, "God is the answer / God lies within," with only a trace of hope in its verity. Here it's a full-on country gospel number, with a rousing female chorus injection a dose of conviction to the same linke. Greatest Palace Music may not earn Will Oldham play on CMT anytime soon, but it reasserts the depth and artfulness of his largely under-recognized talents.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/22/2004
Label: Domino Records Uk
UPC: 5034202114024
catalogNumber: 0211402
Rank: 110542


  1. New Partner
  2. Ohio River Boat Song
  3. Gulf Shores
  4. You Will Miss Me When I Burn
  5. The Brute Choir
  6. I Send My Love to You
  7. More Brother Rides
  8. Agnes, Queen of Sorrow
  9. Viva Ultra
  10. Pushkin
  11. Horses
  12. Riding
  13. West Palm Beach
  14. No More Workhorse Blues
  15. I Am a Cinematographer

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bonnie "Prince" Billy   Primary Artist
Michael Johnson   Pedal Steel Guitar
Lloyd Barry   Horn
Eddie Bayers   Drums
George Chambers   Horn
Duane Denison   Electric Guitar
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle,Mandolin
Ann McCrary   Choir, Chorus
Hargus "Pig" Robbins   Piano
Bruce Watkins   Acoustic Guitar
Mark Fain   Bass
Tony Crow   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Paul Oldham   Vocals
Suzanne Young   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Andrew Bird   Fiddle,Strings,Glockenspiel,Performing Ensemble
Ned Oldham   Electric Guitar,Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Aram Stith   Electric Guitar,Vocals
Waldo Weathers   Horn
Todd Brashear   Vocal Harmony
Bobby Bare   Vocals
David Bird   Electric Guitar,Vocals
Jack Carneal   Percussion,Vocals
Willie Tyler   Electric Guitar
Marty Slayton   Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Harmony
San Stancil   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Cynthia Hopkins   Vocals
Colin Michael Gagon   Trombone,Accordion,Vocals,Squeezebox
D.V. Devincentis   Saxophone
Mary Feiock   Vocals
Lily Nevers   Animal Sounds

Technical Credits

Brendan Croker   Composer
Jon Langford   Composer
Mark Nevers   Producer,Engineer
Sally Timms   Composer
Paul Oldham   Engineer
Will Oldham   Producer,Engineer
Andrew Bird   String Arrangements
Ned Oldham   Engineer
D.C. Berman   Vocal Coach
Aram Stith   Engineer
Marty Slayton   Duet
Colin Michael Gagon   Engineer
Robert Amft   Paintings
Patsy Desmond   Paintings

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