Posted by: Nick | November 22, 2008

Review: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy @ Old Tarr Distillery – 11/21

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy surfaced again last night in Lexington, Kentucky at the Old Tarr Distillery for a Save the Hemlocks Benefit.  I was one of the lucky 300 who got to see Oldham at Funtown back in July, and it was a no brainer to make the short trip to Lex and see this performance.

Bonnie Billy and Thomas A. Minor and the Picket Line took the stage after The Englishmen and The Swells, but immediately ran into sound problems.  There were a few kinks in the sound for the other bands, but when Oldham and Co. took the stage, all the mics were off and the lights were out.  After a pretty long delay, a few of the stage lights were illuminated, but the sound was still on the fritz.  The show went on, however, and Oldham sang the first three songs without a mic.  He opened with “Easy Does It,” a song he would later play again when the sound problem was fixed (or at least improved).  After a few shots at people from Lexington (largely directed at the sound guys), a couple mics were restored and the band shared them the best they could.  At one point Oldham was doing push-ups while singing into a mic set on the floor next to a guitar amp.

Despite this setback, it is hard to say anything negative about the show.  Oldham focused the Funtown show almost entirely on his new album, Lie Down in the Light, but at this show, he pulled from deep in his discography, including “Ohio River Boat Song” (see video below) and “Death to Everyone.”  He also played a Sam Cooke cover, “A Change is Gonna Come,” commenting that Obama quoted the song in his acceptance sppech (you can also see this video below the break). After a pretty long set (including down time for technical difficulties), the guys took a short break and came back for a three song encore, finishing with “Lie Down in the Light.”  No one left dissappointed and was warmed by thier Bonnie Billy experience, at least until we exited in droves into the below freezing winter night.

Oldham’s next stop is in Brazil, then on to Italy.  Our next chance to see him will be on March 12, 2009 in Bloomington, Indiana at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre.  He is set to release another album, Beware, five days after this show, so perhaps we will be able to hear some of his new stuff.

For information about how to help save Kentucky’s Hemlocks, click the image below…

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy- Ohio River Boat Song

For video & tons of photos,

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy- A Change is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke Cover)

Bonnie “Prince” Billy

The Englishmen

The Swells



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