April 14, 2012 – 4:36 am

Billy the kid soothes with folk music.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Tivoli, The Netherlands [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Tivoli, Utrecht, The Netherlands, January 23, 2012. Ex matrix of audience and soundboard in stereo.

When the business of music is screaming, you have to hand it to Will Oldham to look the other way. His music is stark, just acoustic and sparse. His lyrics are something else. Here’s an example:

“Wild guitars came from forests; plainly, woodsmen share a calling. Flailing noises form a chorus: harmonies of arbors falling. And they play, say Conway, and ring, my girl sing, and plead and beg and plead and beg and plead and beg and plead and beg to be heard and had and carried on. Without us, song is nothing. My wife turned crazy on me one day; started chopping up the bed. Looked past me with gaping eyes. Left me too hard to be scared. She left, but circled the yard. All night she haunted the home. The kids went crazy, life was hard. The sounds of rings: boom. And they play, say Conway, and ring, my girl sing, and plead and beg and plead and beg and plead and beg and plead and beg to be heard and had and carried on. Without us, song is nothing. I taught the children to play piano, singing with sweet voice. Music kept their mom away. Melody fostered choice, and choice brought us these days we have, and choice brought us to our rejoicing. Always choose the noise of music… always end the day in singing! And they play, don’t they? And ring, and e’erthing! And bounce and boil and bounce and boil and bounce and boil, and plead and beg to be heard and had and carried on. Without us, song is nothing.” - The Sounds Are Always Begging

This is a narrative with no room for a hooky verse, chorus, verse. It’s not scary unless you can’t sleep without the light on. It’s plain-spoken and carries its meaning without clever rhymes. You will have to work to listen to this but the journey is the experience.

This was shared by kingme66 at DIME. He used a soundboard recording together with an incomplete audience recording, presumably to capture the ambience of the hall. Here are his notes:

first source: SB recorded with Edirol R-09HR line in at 24/96 (bigredbag)
second source: unknown gear (a uut a)

thanks A uut A
and thanks Leo for the setlist

A great big thanks to the team of bigredbag/kingme66 for sharing this show.

Cover picture by Erik Bremer, posted at - thanks!

- The Little Chicken

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Track 101. Quail and Dumplings+ (incomplete) (4.1MB)
Track 102. Out of Mind (9.7MB)
Track 103. No Match+ (9.7MB)
Track 104. With Cornstalks or Among Them* (7.8MB)
Track 105. The Sounds Are Always Begging* (8.6MB)
Track 106. I See a Darkness (5.0MB)
Track 107. I Called You Back (10.5MB)
Track 108. You Win (9.0MB)
Track 109. You Want That Picture^ (9.0MB)
Track 110. Night Noises+ (7.8MB)
Track 111. Teach Me to Bear You* (14.4MB)

Disc 2
Track 201. Keep Eye on Other’s Gain^ (9.8MB)
Track 202. Black Captain+ (12.3MB)
Track 203. Cows+ (8.6MB)
Track 204. Beast for Thee (7.9MB)
Track 205. Intros (3.2MB)
Track 206. So Everyone^ (10.7MB)
Track 207. Go Folks, Go* (10.3MB)
Track 208. Easy Does It^ (9.0MB)
Track 209. Three Questions (10.2MB)

^ The studio versions are found on Lie Down In The Light (2008)
* The studio versions are found on The Wonder Show Of The World (2010)
+ The studio versions are found on Wolfroy Goes To Town (2011)

NOTE: This is a soundboard recording mixed with an incomplete audience recording. The audience recording leaves the soundboard somewhere in “Black Captain” and after that you’re alone with Will and the band.

Will Oldham - vocals, guitar
Angel Olson - vocals
Emmett Kelly - guitar, vocals
Ben Boye - piano, pump organ, autoharp, vocals

For his latest album, Will Oldham reused his Bonnie Prince Billy moniker to release Wolfroy Goes To Town. Angel Olson, Ben Boye and Emmett Kelly were also musicians on that album. Buy it here.

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  2. for people who arent familiar with this music and who dont know if they would like it or not. its kinda folk but with a country twist to it. theres elements of say the rock influence side of kris kristofferson and the early to mid and even late 60s american folk era type sound in there. theres twangy guitar sound in there too tho. its very mixed and would appeal to a crossed audience. i dont know many people who know this guys music. this is i think the 2nd item i have seen posted here.
    edinburgh 06 is the other. if theres more i forget what it was. theres over 2600 matches on youtube. if u want to get an idea of what he sounds like. thats how i often discover stuff. there are some very lengthy pieces as recent as last month on there too.

    By darth on Apr 14, 2012

  3. I just want to say thanks, for providing this recording. Listening to Sounds Are Always Begging is like hearing this song for the first time, so beautiful in it’s telling of what must be my life’s story. Will Oldham is probably my favorite songwriter of the last 10 years, and it’s not easy to find live recordings of his music, and as of late, he doesn’t tour much anymore, either, at least not up in the PNW, where I live now. Thanks again. this is really appreciated.


    By Brian on Jul 26, 2015

  4. Can you please re upload this?
    Really appreciate you sharing the shoes and Bonnie Prince Billy shows are hard to find.

    By Tim on Apr 20, 2021

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