EP Trailer: youtu.be/TUY8MeTylMc
“Our names are Sals and Bonnie, two rounder boys you know”: In which the intrepid Louisville duo gamely paddle forth to explore two Kentucky creeks, singing an ode to Beargrass and meeting their match in two hitchhiking, car-riding young ladies of the Cigarette Crew.
Paradise of Bachelors is honored to shepherd unto your ears and hearths this charming first recorded artifact by revered songwriter, singer, and actor Bonnie “Prince” Billy (né Will Oldham, aka Palace Brothers, Songs, and/or Music) and Nathan Salsburg, curator of the Alan Lomax Archive and distinguished writer, solo guitarist, and accompanist to Joan Shelley and guitar partner of James Elkington (see also their Ambsace album, PoB-21.)
Historians and statisticians may note that this untitled treble-jewelled travelogue, moving and amusing in equal measure (and available in a limited edition of 2000), is our second official Record Store Day release and third collaborative 7” Extend Play record, following in the formidable footsteps of Hiss Golden Messenger and Elephant Micah (PoB-04) and Messrs. Mike Cooper and Derek Hall (PoB-25).
Grab a paddle and hop in. Heed the words of Sals and Bonnie, who write:
This “Beargrass Song” was made at the behest of filmmaker Morgan Atkinson for Beargrass: The Creek in Our Backyard, his 2016 documentary about the history and status of Louisville’s Beargrass Creek. Nathan wrote the intro, and Bonny birthed the subsequent bulk.
“Wallins Creek Girls” isn’t so much about a creek, but a brief impression of two free-spirited women who spent one long ago September 11th (a Friday) bumming cigarettes and hitching rides around the Harlan County coal camp of Wallins Creek, Kentucky. It was presumably composed by Dawson “Little Daw” Henson (1886–1974) of Clay County, who recorded it for Alan Lomax in 1937. His singing opens: “My names is Hicks and Henson, two rounder boys you know.” Who Hicks is in fact sadly we don’t know.
Nor do we know much of Henson except that he kept a farm on Billy’s Branch of Goose Creek and is buried in nearby Goose Rock. With Daw on our minds, we enlisted a demo made of what he performed as “Fare You Well, My Little Annie Darling” (more commonly known as “My Home’s Across the Blue Ridge/Smokey Mountains,” or “My Own True Love”), a song that we had worked up as a contribution to a 2015 celebration of Lomax’s Kentucky recordings at Appalshop’s annual Seedtime on the Cumberland festival in Whitesburg, Kentucky.
+ First-ever recording of the Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Nathan Salsburg duo.
+ Available as a deluxe 45 rpm 7” EP with heavy-duty full-color board jacket, full-color labels, and notes by the artists.
+ An official Record Store Day 2017 exclusive release—PoB’s second—limited to an edition of 2000.
+ Digital edition will be released on June 9, 2017.
+ PoB artist page: www.paradiseofbachelors.com/bonnie-salsburg