Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and serious beef jerky

The Picassoid Will Oldham.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Dege Legg, and Hurray for the Riff-Raff at Bourque's Social Club, Scott, LA, 4/7/2010

What a tremendous show. Will Oldham is a my-body-is-my-instrument actor/singer/presence-in-and of-the-room guy when he's on, and he was on last night, full of gesture, sweet of voice. Just sitting there during one of the opening acts, he was a satyr in repose, a shambled couch his dewy bed of clover. His harmonies were so strong, it was hard to believe this was that same squeaky kid from There is No-One What Will Take Care Of You so many years ago. I unfortunately did not capture his best numbers, among them "Troublesome Houses" off the new album and a version of (I think) "Bowling Green" "Omaha" (Thanks, robbbb!) by the Everly Brothers, where they bellowed "Scott, Louisiana!" in gospel fervor replacing the town name, but this is an example of what was on the docket.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & the Cairo Gang - "Teach Me To Bear You." Dig the shadows.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & the Cairo Gang - "Go Folks, Go"

Dege Legg - "The Battle of New Orleans"

Hurray for the Riff-Raff - Unknown song. I wish I'd gotten the one where she harmonized with the passing train.

The opening acts did their own share of the heavy lifting. Dege Legg plays with the gusto you wish street guitarists would embody. Pushed that shit to the cliff's edge. Hurray for the Riff Raff nail the delicate, vintage-ish, old/new/timeless, faerie-airy/dead serious New Orleans thing in all its glory.

Bourque's (discussed in some length here) is one notch above (or below, depending on perspective) a house show amenities-wise, so in one of the many sojourns to Cue Time, the bar next door, I encountered a barfly that brings his own air freshener, itinerant troubadour William Lee on his way from Los Angeles to his destiny in Alabama, and a dimebag of some serious beef jerky. I love you, Scott, Louisiana. Thanks to Will Oldham, Drew Landry, Dege, Riff-Raff et. al. for everything, once again.


  1. Man, I really wanted to go but assumed between the late start I was going to get leaving BR and the fact I'd made no previous arrangements/reservations as others seem to have had that I most likely was going to end up listening from an open window. Which wouldn't have been so bad now that I think about it...

  2. d-ashes: There were no reserve tickets to be bought, and no guest list (I tried both), but it all worked out.

  3. i wanted to see Hurray for the Riff Raff too, this totally slipped my mind. How were they as an opening act?

  4. Erin: This is the second time I've seen them as an opening act for an enigmatic performer (the other time was for Jandek), and both times they held their own. Charming as hell, but I'm curious to see if they can sustain that over a full set.

  5. I found the Everly Brothers song. It's called "Omaha".

    I think maybe he improvised some topical lyrics about dogs.

  6. robbbb: I think you're right. Thanks!

  7. I drove over eight long, slow, molasses flow hours from Oklahoma (most of the I-49 travel was electrical downpour swamp storm) to make this gig.

    I barely made it inside as Dege started his set.

    I was Front & Center for
    the encore BPB songs.
    But I didn't get to
    sit on his knee
    like one lucky
    young fellow.

    The ReV