Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy with Emmett Kelly perform at the Lincoln Theatre on March 7, 2020. (Photo by David LaMason)
When I think of Will Oldham, whether it’s by his stage name, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, or the number of other names he’s recorded under (Palace Brothers, Palace Music), I think of a musical force that I’ve known for years but always seems to be around. What’s distinct about Will’s music is in the poetry of his words; the pastoral tones of his music; and that distinctive voice that sounds much older than its owner.
Bonnie “Prince” Billy (Photo courtesy The Billions Corporation)
Will Oldham, aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy, released I Made a Place, his latest studio album, last November via Drag City. He made the album with his wife while they were artists in residence in Hawaii, and the results are engrossing but also amazingly tranquil.
Bonnie “Prince” Billy performs with Jonathan Richman at the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday, March 7. Prior to the show, Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter chatted with Will about making the record and touring with Jonathan.
Bonnie “Prince” Billy performs at Union Chapel in London on July 27, 2017. (Photo by Jon Southcasting)
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Bonnie “Prince” Billy. Will Oldham, who has also released music under the Palace moniker (Palace Brothers, Palace Music, and Palace Songs), is something of a cult figure. He also has a varied acting career, with appearances in films ranging from Jackass 3D to 2006’s Junebug to last year’s A Ghost Story. On Tuesday, he made an appearance at The Birchmere, and I was there to figure him out.