Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Palace Music - Lost Blues and Other Songs

This is a compilation of singles and rare tracks from the various incarnations of Will Oldham as Palace/Palace Brothers/Palace Music etc.  As many collections like this can be, it's a bit all over the shop.  It opens with the dead slow but effective folk march of Ohio River Boat Song.  Many tracks here are, let's face it, hard going: the rough-as-fuck version of Riding, the completely out of tune singing on Stable Will to name but two.

But mostly downbeat folk is the order of the day on tracks like Valentine's Day, Trudy Dies and Come In.  Some of the stronger material is towards the end: O How I Enjoy The Light is a fairly typical Oldham lament with a neat line in warped guitar.  The two essential tracks are the relaxed, warm West Palm Beach which features some gorgeous electric guitar lines, and then the Stones-y lazy blues Gulf Shores, a bit like an updated No Expectations.  This latter track actually features soothing vocals from Will Oldham and a nice bit of piano.  But overall, not a collection for the fairweather fan.