On his latest album Bonnie Prince Billy aka Will Oldham pays tribute to Merle Haggard. Listen to 'Best Troubador' now in full early.
We have labelled Best Troubador with our editor's choice badge, which means we totally dig the record. Make sure you listen to it at least once. Best Troubador will be released on May 05, 2017. Stream it courtesy of NPR. Also check out our Bonnie Prince Billy artist profile to find eventual tour dates in your area and links to the official web and social media pages of Bonnie Prince Billy. Last but not least make sure you scroll down and check out reviews for 'Best Troubador'.
And if you like what you hear, get it over at iTunes or Amazon.
01. The Fugitive
02. I’m Always on a Mountain When I Fall
03. The Day the Rains Came
04. Haggard (Like I’ve Never Been Before)
05. I Always Get Lucky With You
07. My Old Pal
08. Roses in the Winter
09. Some of Us Fly
10. Wouldn’t That Be Something
12. That’s the Way Love Goes
13. Nobody’s Darling
14. What I Hate (excerpt)
15. I Am What I Am
16. If I Could Only Fly
We currently know 10 reviews for "Best Troubador" by Bonnie Prince Billy. The album received pretty solid reviews among the critics and is one of the better ones this year.
"Though it might seem strange that Oldham recorded the first major tribute to Haggard, the careful and well-thought-out working through of the master's themes makes deliberate sense."
"While a covers album can be a pedestrian thing, often about what the artist can do to make their mark on a song or set of songs, Bonnie Prince Billy’s homage to Haggard is so much more than that--it’s reaching out to a ghost, pulling the uninitiated to a plane where it’s possible for Haggard to be renewed and revitalised while all the time being revered and respected."
The Line of Best Fit
"He strays further still from country’s core sound, replacing the pedal steel and banjo with flutes, saxophones and acoustic guitar. By doing this, and choosing deep cuts rather than hits like Okie From Muskegee, he universalises a music that is still overlooked by many listeners, and in some cases arguably improves it."
"Best Troubador does a splendid job of showing how right he is about Haggard and his songs, and you'd have to go back to 1994's splendid multi-artist disc Tulare Dust to hear as sincere and affecting a tribute to this most American of artists."
"It’s a heartfelt, human and inspired way of celebrating Haggard’s work."
"With Best Troubador, Oldham reflects the format’s most expressive tendencies—to filter an artist’s work through the lens of your fandom. Through these songs, Oldham’s appreciation for Haggard seems to stem less from his innovation within the genre than for his patient evolution and longevity."
"The fact that Best Troubador manages to outright milk unqualified whimsy from the life and music of one of country’s most rugged, ambivalent heroes--well, it’s really something."
Tiny Mix Tapes
"Ultimately, the curiosity of the song selection helps Best Troubador feel like a more thoughtful and earnest tribute. Sometimes the two men’s disparate sensibilities find an appealing point of overlap."
"Best Troubadour is a pleasant, warm-hearted experience."
Under The Radar
"Much of the album remains true (or close enough) to the original arrangements, and you get a real sense that Oldham's singing these songs simply because he loves them and thinks other people should too. While that doesn't make for essential listening, it undoubtedly makes for an enjoyable and almost comforting experience."
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