Drag City Records have pulled out something of a surprise for Will Oldham fans with an official music video for Palace Brothers‘ single Ohio River Boat Song. The track appeared on their 7″ debut single, released February 12, 1993 on Drag City and can also be found on Lost Blues and Other Songs which is available as a double LP, CD and Digital via Drag City here.
If you’re a fan of Will Oldham aka: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, Palace Music and many other names… then this should be in your collection…”best loved sides, as well as most of the original singles, some outtakes and demos, even a live song.”
Trivia: In the book “Will Oldham on Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy” Oldham revealed that prior to adopting the name Palace Brothers the band’s stage name was Palace Flophouse. The first single was going to be ‘For the Mekons‘ and ‘Drinking Woman‘ but when Drag City heard Ohio River Boat Song they asked if they could release that instead. For the Mekons later featured on a Drag City compilation Hey Drag City (1994).
Having said that, there is a tribute on the single to The Mekons – on the cover to be precise – the letters on the single’s cover (see left) were all made out of a photograph that Oldham took of Susie Honeyman’s face, the violin player of the Mekons.
On the reverse of the cover is a Fleur-de-lis which is also the symbol of Louisville City. Oldham has a tattoo of it on his left forearm which he had when he was nineteen “a little home on my wrist.”
The yellow or gold coloured elephant was drawn by Paul Greenlaw…Oldham was once told by an Indian astrologer that he was an elephant in a past life.
And the final trivia, “Ohio River Boat Song” is an adaptation of the traditional Scottish “Loch Tay Boat Song” which we recently premiered by HAV.
Things always seem to go in circles with folk music….
Main imagePhoto Credit: Rich Anderson (Creative Commons via Wikipedia)