Last year Will Oldham released Beware [Drag City], the 7th full-length under his Bonnie “Prince” Billy moniker, and set out on a tour in support of it. Although the album featured Jennifer Hutt, fellow violinist/vocalst, Cheyenne Marie Mize filled her position for the live tour. Mize also appeared on the four song accompanying EP, Chijimi and, beyond being a very capable violinist, her voice harmonizes beautifully with Oldham‘s, as she was featured prominently in the live performances. She is also a member of an old-timey pseudo-bluegrass situation known as Arnett Hollow, as well as working with The Picket Line, a band that Bonnie “Prince” Billy recorded/released his lesser publicized collaborative work Funtown Comedown with at the end of 2009. Cheyenne is really beginning to come into her own as an independent artist and, later this fall, her first solo album is slated to be released. For the meantime, another joint effort between Mize and Oldham, titled Among the Gold, is being offered to tide you over. This time, the collaboration comes in the form of the pair covering 19th century parlor music as a duet and it’s being offered ABSOLUTELY FREE. It’s only a 6 song effort but it’s a beautiful album and, if it’s any indication of what we can expect from her debut release, things look really promising.
Here’s what Cheyenne Marie Mize has to say about the backstory and fruition of Among the Gold:
“In the summer of 2008, there was a place called Funtown where about 300 lucky folks saw the first official coming-together of The Picket Line, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and myself. In preparation for this little event, I met and began rehearsing with Will. After our first rehearsal together he asked me to join his touring band for the following Spring.“
“I had had the idea behind Among the Gold brewing for some time- originally thinking it was going to be me alone- to take some of my favorite very, very old tunes and record them. I offered the idea to Will, needing only a mic and a good room for recording, and he offered me a mic and a good room for recording. I asked him to sing a couple of the songs as duets as well. In the process we very much enjoyed singing together and we decided that they would all make great duets so it became more of a collaborative effort, with him helping me to decide on the rest of the tunes we would record, and helping me with instrumentation and arrangement decisions. And then it was.”
Among the Gold was originally given a vinyl release from Karate Body records back in May of last year and all of the songs covered on the album were written between the years of 1873 and 1915. The link to the FREE DOWNLOAD is posted below the cover art, as well as MP3‘s of each track, for those of you who can’t bare to part with your precious computer memory without the insurance that it will be worth the space. The standout track for me is definitely “Silver Threads“, a song that I believe the two performed when I saw them at the Seattle performance. Alright… that’s enough info… now, get to it!
1. “Only A Dream” (1909 by Lincoln/Craff Jr.)
2. “Love’s Old Sweet Song” (1914 by Moloy/Bingham)
3. “Beautiful Dreamer” (1864 by Foster)
4. “Kiss Me Again” (1915 by Herbert/Blossom)
5. “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” (1910 by Friedman/Whitson)
6. “Silver Threads” (1873 by Danks/Rexfo)