Bonnie Prince Billy and Nathan SalsburgParadise Of Bachelors
Beargrass Song + 2EP
Released: 29th April 2017
Record Store Day 2017
2000 only worldwide.
Paradise of Bachelors is honoured to shepherd unto your ears and hearths this charming first recorded artefact by revered songwriter, singer, and actor Bonnie “Prince” Billy (né Will Oldham, aka Palace Brothers, Songs, and/or Music) and Nathan Salsburg, curator of the Alan Lomax Archive and distinguished writer, solo guitarist, and accompanist to Joan Shelley and guitar partner of James Elkington.
Grab a paddle and hop in. Heed the words of Sals and Bonnie, who write: This “Beargrass Song” was made at the behest of filmmaker Morgan Atkinson for Beargrass: The Creek in Our Backyard, his 2016 documentary about the history and status of Louisville’s Beargrass Creek. Nathan wrote the intro, and Bonny birthed the subsequent bulk. “Wallins Creek Girls” isn’t so much about a creek, but a brief impression of two free-spirited women who spent one long ago September 11th (a Friday) bumming cigarettes and hitching rides around the Harlan County coal camp of Wallins Creek, Kentucky. It was presumably composed by Dawson “Little Daw” Henson (1886–1974) of Clay County, who recorded it for Alan Lomax in 1937. His singing opens: “My names is Hicks and Henson, two rounder boys you know.” Who Hicks is in fact sadly we don’t know. Nor do we know much of Henson except that he kept a farm on Billy’s Branch of Goose Creek and is buried in nearby Goose Rock. With Daw on our minds, we enlisted a demo made of what he performed as “Fare You Well, My Little Annie Darling” (more commonly known as “My Home’s Across the Blue Ridge/Smokey Mountains,” or “My Own True Love”), a song that we had worked up as a contribution to a 2015 celebration of Lomax’s Kentucky recordings at Appalshop’s annual Seedtime on the Cumberland festival in Whitesburg, Kentucky.