Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy at Radio-Active Records

By | May 31st, 2011 | 1 Comment

Monday night, looking like a recovering gambling addict in white pants, a white zippered guayabera, and black sunglasses, Bonnie “Prince” Billy treated a couple hundred hushed listeners to an hour of no-frills folk at Radio-Active Records in Ft. Lauderdale. Taking down cans of Modelo Especial throughout his set, the Kentuckian shared the stage with helluva guitarist Emmett Kelly (aka The Cairo Gang) and singer Angel Olsen, whose deeply wronged voice and 1000-yard stare infused the informal, unmiked performance with an intensity that eludes description. For his part, the Prince (known among friends as Will Oldham) swung from bared-teeth ferocity to soft sincerity (“Plead and beg and plead and beg and …”) to casual curiosity (“Does anyone know much about the aquatic life around here?”) to preacherly urging (“Go folks! Go forth! Go folks! Trust your brain!”) in a free performance that deserved a bottomless tip jar.

BPB and company will play another gratis show — the last on their magnanimous Free Florida tour — Tuesday night at Sweat Records. As the videos below will confirm, you should definitely go. Make sure to check out our interview with Oldham to learn more about the man, the tour, and the way U.S. Customs deals with a vinyl smuggler.


“Ohio River Boat Song”

Angel Olsen
Chicago-based songwriter Angel Olsen sang back up for most of the set, but she took the lead on this beautifully aching number, a cover of British singer-songwriter Kevin Coyne’s “Come Down Here”.

“Come Down Here” — Angel Olsen


“The Seedling”

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One Comment on “Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy at Radio-Active Records”

  1. 1 arielle said at 4:07 pm on June 2nd, 2011:

    go folks, go forth, trust your brain, trust your body.

    one of the most beautiful moments from when i saw them, as well.


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