Paradise of Bachelors (POB) have announced the release of a Record Store Day only EP from Bonnie “Prince” Billy & Nathan Salsburg. The Untitled EP is the first release from the duo who should need no introduction. But, as ever, I learnt something new from the footnotes to this release that Salsburg, as well as being a talented solo guitarist, is also curator of the Alan Lomax Archive. Needless to say POB have a knack for putting out real gems with previous RSD collaborative releases including Hiss Golden Messenger and Elephant Micah (PoB-04) and Messrs. Mike Cooper and Derek Hall (PoB-25).
Taken from the EP, our Song of the Day is Wallins Creek Girls which you can hear in full below (A short extract is also featured in the video trailer above).
“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.
Also featured on the EP is “Beargrass Song” which 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.
The final track is Fare You Well, My Little Annie Darling, another track from Dawson Henson, a musician they know little about other than 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.”
The EP is released for Record Store Day on April 22. The digital version of the album is set for release on June 9, 2017. Further details on the release can be found on Paradise of Bachelors.