Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ramblin´ Bonny

"My hat don't hang on the same nail too long,
My ears can't stand to hear the same old song..."

Now we´re talking. After the somewhat lackluster crooning of Beware, Will Oldham returns to form in the dying days of 2009 with a mighty fine live registration. Funtown Comedown (vinyl and download only for some reason) is credited to Bonny - with an y this time around - Billy & The Picket Line, and features the lovely Cheyenne Mize on shared vocals. The Picket Line is a bluegrass band from Oldham´s hometown, whose loose and ramshackle sound brings out the best in the Louisville Lion.

Funtown Comedown features delightful new takes of some old Palace and Bonnie Prince Billy classics like Ohio River Boat Song and a wonderful The Glory Goes/Wolf Among Wolves medley, plus fun covers of songs by Ralph Stanley and Merle Haggard. Now I don´t know what attracted Oldham to Haggard´s Ramblin´ Fever in the first place, as the original is pretty much Hag by numbers, and features a rather corny sax to boot. But when the Picket Line gets a groove going and Billy starts whoopin´ it up, it suddenly makes sense.

"Ramblin' fever, the kind that can't be measured by degrees,
Ramblin' fever, there ain't no kind of cure for my disease..."

Bonny Billy & The Picket Line - Rambling Fever MP3
Merle Haggard - Ramblin´ Fever MP3