Favorite Sessions

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: A Man With A PlanKEXP

I rarely feel nervous before in-studio performances, but the June visit to KEXP by Will Oldham, a.k.a. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, was an exception. Since emerging in his various "Palace" incarnations in the early 1990s, Oldham has been responsible for a dauntingly huge, rich, influential catalog of music. Yet Oldham acted so utterly at-home in our studio that I immediately relaxed and got lost in his playing. As he shuffled through a pile of loose-leaf papers, his song choices seemed fluid and impromptu, highlighting recent tunes like the B-side "Whipped," as well as his classic "I See a Darkness," which reappears on his new EP, Now Here's My Plan, due out July 24.

Our conversation between songs proved just as entertaining, as it spanned everything from his experiences composing music for Southern soul legend Candi Staton to a breathtaking tale about performing at the Wolf Haven International Sanctuary in Tenino, Wash., a few days earlier. Look closely at his hands and you'll notice that his sky-blue nail polish is starting to chip — Oldham lamented after the performance that he'd accidentally forgotten his clear top coat polish back at home.

Set List
  • "Whipped"
  • "Night Noises"
  • "I See A Darkness"
  • "How About Thank You"
[+] read more[-] less

More From Folk

Larry Groce. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Larry Groce On Mountain Stage

Hear the Mountain Stage host and founder play a full set of songs from his first album in 27 years.

Larry Groce On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/490203668/490209480" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Steve Poltz. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Steve Poltz On Mountain Stage

The songwriter plays an energetic set that highlights material from his latest album, Folksinger.

Steve Poltz On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/489329678/489336801" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jocie Adams of Arc Iris in a scene from her new video for the song, 'Moon Saloon' Courtesy Of The Artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy Of The Artist

All Songs TV

First Watch: Arc Iris, 'Moon Saloon'

In Arc Iris's stunning new video, a simple trick turns a snowy field into the surface of the moon.

Ruby Amanfu performs at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Ruby Amanfu, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

The Beyoncé and Jack White collaborator combined vulnerability with swagger in her Newport set.

Ruby Amanfu, Live In Concert

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/488261018/488366726" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Wood Brothers Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

The Wood Brothers On Mountain Stage

The sibling folk band, which recently released Paradise, performs six songs live in West Virginia.

The Wood Brothers On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/488366373/488368632" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

River Whyless performs at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

Newport Folk Festival

River Whyless, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

The folk-pop band builds mountains out of sensitive harmony lines at the Newport Folk Festival.

River Whyless, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487320023/487374592" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Joan Shelley performing at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Joan Shelley, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

"These are the smallest songs you'll hear at this folk festival," Shelley said of her set.

Joan Shelley, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487324284/487390566" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Hayes Carll. Brian Blauser /Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser /Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Hayes Carll On Mountain Stage

The Texas singer-songwriter performs songs from Lovers And Leavers live on stage in West Virginia.

Hayes Carll On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487508318/487515111" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top