Lie Down in the Light – Bonnie “Prince” Billy
By Chris Peken
Square dance anyone’ Okay, it’s only the one track, the opening Easy Does It, but when that down-home country fiddle kicks in I had the unmistakable urge to grab a partner and dosey-doe. That is certainly as jaunty as our Bonnie Prince Billy (aka Will Oldham) ever gets, but by jove it’s fun. And did i mention the singing lessons’ Somewhere 15 years into his recording career Billy has learnt to sing, discovering a voice less reliant on world-weary quirkiness and displaying some beautiful tones and warm harmonies. The Southern Gothic influence and strong word-play remain staple of the Oldham stable: “I like the places where the night / Does not mean and end / Where smiles break fee / And surprise is your friend.” And those who have followed the alternate Prince for over a decade will find Lie Down in the Light another satisfying chapter; but the new-found warmth and vocal control will appeal to a newer crowd yet to be welcomed into the Oldham fold. Sing along to So Everyone with the Prince and feel a little bit of joy.