Bonnie 'Prince' Billy | WIG212 | Released: 19/11/07
Following the many intensities of 'The Letting Go'and its three singles and EP, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy went to Philadelphia to cool out with a record of covers versions. But the combination of summer days, Philadelphia streets and the way Bonny is ambushed the cooling process, producing eight sizzlers instead and creating the need to 'Ask Forgiveness'.
Redolent of the haze hovering o’er the city of brotherly love, the 'Ask Forgivenes' EP was recorded on the fly at Hexham Head. With a basic alignment of Bonny and Meg Baird on acoustics and vocals and Greg Weeks on electric guitar, aided and abetted by Maggie Wienk on cello at times, the colors begin shifting and flashing right away, with acoustics glinting and a bit of electric guitar tone, running clean to resonant to Leslie and back; a light touch on the faders bringing vocals and guitars to and fro in perfect time. Covering a handful of diverse songwriters (Newbury, Guðmundsdóttir, Anzalone, Ochs, Billy, Haggard, Caldwell and Kelly), Bonny makes each one of their songs his own simply, through the process of having taken it within and loving it — and then singing it out again, in good company.
Fronted with a portrait of Bonny suitable for hanging (over warden’s desk at your local nuthouse), 'Ask Forgiveness' is an exciting, exacting, relaxing, afflictive listen — a record, much like the Bonnie 'Prince' himself, that is there to help you in your ever-expanding state of mind. Ask for it by name — 'Ask Forgivenes'.