What the Brothers Sang

What the Brothers Sang

by Bonnie "Prince" Billy


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What the Brothers Sang

After years of playing the role of guest vocalist and harmony arranger-in-chief for Will Oldham/Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Faun Fables' Dawn McCarthy finally gets to split the bill on What the Brothers Sang, a lovingly crafted, laid-back collection of songs from the vaults of the Everly Brothers that are as respectful as they are idiosyncratic. Recorded and mixed by David Ferguson (Johnny Cash, Del McCoury Band), and backed by a small army of seasoned session musicians, Oldham and McCarthy approach the songs -- almost all of which came up for air in the '60s and reside (more or less) in the deep end of the duo's formidable catalog -- in such an honest and open-ended fashion that it's easy to forget where the material was sourced. The pair forgo the brothers' tight, by-the-book harmonies for a more languid, naturalistic approach that uses unison singing as a springboard for harmonic exploration (one of the album's biggest thrills lies in wondering which vocalist will break free first), especially on ballads like "Devoted to You," "Empty Boxes," and the weepy, pedal steel-laden "It's All Over," but they're not opposed to letting loose, as evidenced by the inclusion of likeable yet forgettable open road rockers like "Somebody Help Me" and "Milk Train," both of which, in their original incarnations, benefited greatly from Phil and Don's pop acumen. Not surprisingly, it's the less propulsive numbers that truly resonate on What the Brothers Sang, as Oldham and McCarthy sound less emotionally constricted at a more measured pace, and when they allow their muses to meet, as they do on highlights like "Breakdown," "What Am I Loving For," and the beautiful closer "Kentucky," the results are transcendent.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/19/2013
Label: Drag City
UPC: 0781484055525
catalogNumber: 555
Rank: 165414

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bonnie "Prince" Billy   Primary Artist
Pete Townshend   Percussion
Pat McLaughlin   Background Vocals
Bobby Wood   Organ,Piano
John Catchings   Cello
Dan Dugmore   Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar
Kenny Malone   Drums
Joey Miskulin   Accordion
John Mock   Mandolin,Harmonium
Matt Sweeney   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Nils Frykdahl   Flute
Billy Contreras   Fiddle
Emmett Kelly   Guitar,Background Vocals
Dave Roe   Bass
Chris Vivio   Tuba
Ian McAllister   Trombone,Euphonium
Noah Taggart   Tuba,Sousaphone
John Barron "JB"   Trombone,Euphonium

Technical Credits

Ron Elliott   Composer
Kris Kristofferson   Composer
John Denver   Composer
Carole King   Composer
Art Harris   Composer
Jackie Edwards   Composer
Don Everly   Composer
Gerry Goffin   Composer
Felice Bryant   Composer
Boudleaux Bryant   Composer
David Ferguson   Engineer
Tony Romeo   Composer
Dan Osborn   Layout
Fred Jay   Composer
Dawn McCarthy   Drawing
Magnus Johnstone   Artwork
Brett Eugene Ralph   Liner Notes
Karl Davis   Composer

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