Posted in music | pictures on February 8, 2013

photos by Sachyn Mital

Bonnie "Prince" Billy @ The Allen Room, 2/7/2013
Bonnie Prince Billy

As you prepare to perform in the "American Songbook" series, what does the notion of the "American songbook" mean to you?

I would like to think that certain songs find relationships with other songs in the ear of the listener. I think it means that there's a group of songs that people know or are familiar with outside the context of any particular artist that become ingrained in people's perception of their culture.

Is there something particularly "American" about it?

To some extent, the reception of all the songs we've gotten a chance to hear over our lives and the lives of people throughout the history of recorded music are commercially recorded releases. So the "American songbook" is characterized by the American music business and how that business has been run over the last 100 years. Of course, the music business reacts to our hybrid culture. I don't think the United States is unique in that its popular music reflects a common denominator of a diverse population. But our diverse population, of course, is uniquely ours. - [WSJ]

Is there a more spectacular NYC locale for a show than The Allen Room in Lincoln Center? Only falling snow could have made a better postcard last night (2/7) when Bonnie "Prince" Billy (aka Will Oldham) played as part of the 2013 American Songbook Series. Will played mainly alone, with a few covers thrown in amongst his originals, but was joined by collaborators Matt Sweeney on guitar and Ryan McNair on melodica for a few songs. It was a conversational evening in general, with Oldham stopping in the middle of songs to tell a story -- like one of him meeting Connie Britton (aka Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights) at a party, and pulled out a picture with her as evidence -- and even led the crowd in a group singalong.

Check out more pictures and the evening's setlist from The Allen Room below...

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Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

Bonnie Prince Billy

SETLIST: Bonnie "Prince" Billy @ The Allen Room, 2/7/2012
Bed Is for Sleeping Co‐written with Matt Sweeney
Little Boy Blue Music and lyrics by Bobby "Blue" Bland
Gone Girl Music and lyrics by Cowboy Jack Clement
May It Always Be
Lift Us Up Co‐written with Matt Sweeney
I Called You Back
Get on Jolly 1/New Partner
A Minor Place
Quail and Dumplings
Ninety Miles an Hour (Down a Dead End Street) Music and lyrics by Hal Blair and Don Robertson
The Banks of Red Roses Traditional
Big Friday
Time to Be Clear
The Brute Choir
New Whaling
Death to Everyone
Floozy Song
Just Little Boy Blue Music and lyrics by Jimmie Fox
How About Thank You
The Risen Lord Text by D.H. Lawrence
Love Comes to Me
Cursed Sleep
You Will Miss Me When I Burn Co‐written with Brian Rich

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Comments (24)

You can see me if pic number 8, I'm curled up in a TMNT sleeping bag across the street from the Essex Hotel.

Hot night in a hot city, ya heard? Ya heard.

Posted by Big Timer(!) | February 8, 2013 1:32 PM

did everyone go downstairs to shop at J Crew afterward?

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 1:43 PM

This was a much better setlist then the 3 times I've seen him.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 1:55 PM

Quail and Dumplings - an obvious nod to the Chinese New Year.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 1:57 PM

That is a good setlist. Great to see him playing with Sweeney. Superwolf was an awesome album. Hopefully those two put another album like that really soon!

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 2:00 PM

Was it just me or did this show remind them of a Vh1 Storytellers episode? In the best way possible.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 2:11 PM

hope this is not the start of a belly shirt on bald men trend

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 2:14 PM

One of the best shows ever.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 2:33 PM

Ryder, not Ryan.

Posted by Ryder | February 8, 2013 3:41 PM

What a weird looking dude.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 3:54 PM

The Lincoln Center jazz twats that run this amazingly beautiful venue should put on more shows for us hummus scarfin' sausages.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 4:33 PM

The setlist should start with Banks of Red Roses>Big Friday then go to the bottom of the list and then start at the top and end with Quail 'n Dumps>90 miles an hour.

For the BPB completists out there....you know you're out there

Posted by Charlie McNulty | February 8, 2013 4:53 PM

^^ this guy knows the fucking deal.

AMAZING/UNFORGETTABLE SHOW.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 5:12 PM

Coolest thing about the entire state if Kentucky right there.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 8:55 PM

he's been a talentless hipster hack since he was born. would rather have bamboo shoots shoved up my urethra than have to listen to this shit. cats having sex is a more pleasing sound than this douche.

and you all have no credibility for creaming all over this assclown

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 9:15 PM

I was not there but 9:15 you are an idiot. This guy is super talented and he puts on great shows. With that being said, i sort of have to agree that 5:12 is an over hyping ass clown.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 9:17 PM

YANNY PRINCE BILLY

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2013 11:48 PM

I saw bpb on youtube once.

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2013 1:02 PM

looks like a Planet of the Apes extra

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2013 1:48 PM

9:15: if you feel so negatively about Bonnie, why did you attend the show?

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2013 4:34 PM

One of the best shows I've ever seen

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2013 4:44 PM

He's just great.

Posted by catering winnipeg | June 28, 2013 7:15 PM

go downstairs to shop at J Crew afterward...

Posted by massagem tantrica | August 17, 2014 9:37 PM

LOVE YOU so very much, and thank you for your music, your voice is amazing.

Posted by Pearly | September 16, 2014 10:54 AM

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