WMMT is tickled, excited, and downright delighted to announce that singer, songwriter, and Kentucky native Will Oldham, perhaps better known as Bonnie “Prince” Billy, will perform a benefit concert for your very own Mountain Community Radio station, WMMT 88.7 FM, on Saturday, July 7, at Cosmic Charlie’s in Lexington, Ky. Tickets are $15, the show is 18+, and the evening kicks off with historic Appalshop film screenings at 7:30 p.m. before Will takes the stage for the first of his two sets at 8 p.m. Between Mr. Oldham’s sets, we will see more Appalshop films, hear a set from instrumentalist Long Thanh Nguyen, and we’ll hear from WMMT programmers and staff. It’ll be an incredibly cool evening and we would love to share it with you!
For those of you unfamiliar, Bonnie “Prince” Billy is a Louisville-based singer, songwriter, musician, and actor who has been described by some as an “Appalachian post-punk solipsist.” In addition to a lengthy, critically-acclaimed recording career, his varied accolades include a role in “Matewan,” the John Sayles film about the Matewan Massacre; an appearance in the R. Kelly video “Trapped in the Closet;” and a 2007 collaboration with Johnny Cash. While most of his songs follow a relatively traditional structure, they are set apart by their stark honesty, painstaking attention to lyrical detail, and Oldham’s distinct and authentic voice. A taste of his music:
Mr. Oldham is also no stranger to WMMT–in the photos above and below, you can see him in the studio with Appalshop filmmaker Robert Salyer during a 2005 visit to the Appalshop Archive and WMMT (read about it here!) and also played a benefit concert for Appalshop in 2003 with Catherine Irwin at Headliner’s Music Hall in Louisville. As part of his 2005 trip to Appalshop, Will took a turn behind the WMMT microphone, during which he and Robert played June Appal records and made conversation into the wee hours of the Whitesburg morning. Here’s a 40 minute excerpt from his time on the central Appalachian airwaves:
We couldn’t be more thrilled about this event and we couldn’t be more grateful to Mr. Oldham for his generosity in doin’ it. We’ll see all of you wonderful people in Lexington on July 7. For more information or to share the event, call WMMT at (606) 633-0108, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Facebook event page for the WMMT benefit.
UPDATE – since we first ran this post, we’ve been helped out by some incredibly lovely people who have put together some wonderful press about the show:
- Ace Weekly, Lexington’s alternative paper, has a fantastic article by Kakie Urch promoting the show, featuring this gem: “WMMT was local before local was cool.”
- The Chevy Chaser Magazine out of Lexington was wonderful enough to run a q & a about WMMT and the show on Saturday (many thanks to Ms. Saraya Brewer!)
- Our friends at WRFL featured on-air interviews with both Mr. Prince Billy himself and SuperFriend of Appalshop Bethany Baxter (who deserves an untold amount of thanks for helping put this event together)
Thank you all so very much, and see you Saturday!