Label: Domino Release date: 29/03/09 Link:Myspace It is mid afternoon, a Thursday, and while the bright orange sun continues to scorch the earth under out feet, aside from the general thrum of languid conversation and occasional clinking of glasses, the atmosphere here is one of genial bonhomie. Occasional ghostly notes emanate from a hard done by piano tucked away in a corner, as if plucked by the ghosts of those who had fallen here before. However all is not well - as old man Jameson heaves himself to his feet and staggers across the bar, the mood is pierced with the sound of shouting down the street. Growing louder, we peer over creaking doors towards a cloud of dust on the horizon to see whats causing the commotion. As our hearts begin to race, a cold sense of foreboding enters our feet and sweeps up through all of us as we focus on the black steed fast approaching, leaving billowing clouds of dust in its wake. Oh shit, it cant be? Pausing to catch breath before dismounting, the black clad rider flares his nostrils as a familiar combination of smells; baked earth, sour mash and outright fear, awake long forgotten memories before – as if remembering his dastardly mission - he leaps to the floor and stares us right in the eyes. The dark lonesome horseman is back. Lock up your kids and get the word out: Bonnie Prince Billy is back in town. Of course none of the above has any relevance to, well, anything but at its heart is something of a truth – namely that with a stoically “outlaw” attitude, some heroic facial furniture and a general sense of creepy foreboding that accompanies pretty much all of his musical output – Bonnie Prince Billy would have made a hell of a cowboy. Its also my way of subtly noting that after nearly 20 years writing and recording and almost as many albums under his belt – its increasingly difficult to write a review of the Princes output that doesn’t a) repeat everyone else’s opinion or b) doesn’t write itself. See while trends come and go, NME cover stars return to Tesco’s cold meat counters and the kids get excited over a whole new Social media platform some things still remain gloriously untouched and so it is that Oldhams template of hushed Southern gothic and alt-country/folk continues to be his calling card – all barreling acoustic guitars and adornments of deliciously flowering slide guitar – sounding for all the world like its being beamed into the stereo direct from campfire side, rural Denver 1962. Opening track 'Troublesome Houses' is the perfect distillation of the albums red eyed country soul, wrapping everything up into a neat little summation of shuffling country twang, before later on 'That’s what our love is' proves theres more to this than simple repetition, with wave after wave of hushed harmonies and delicately brushed instrumentation proving to be the emotional and sensory blood of this record – rushing its poise and tone to the rest of the album whilst returning to its broken heart laden down with melancholy. Another delightful addition to the man's back catalogue then, and proof that even after best part of two dozen records there's life in this old shooter yet. Now lets get moving – this wagons a rollin Photobucket