Bonnie Prince Billy – Lie Down In The Light (Drag City and Palace Records) Eric Nielsen 6.5.8
Laid out low on the grass in late Spring, this disc came to me like a summer herald, a revelation of spirit manifested in light. It's royal and noble embedded in simple. Its archetypical sounds are reminiscent of a gentle dream from our lovely past.
Words matter in these 12 songs. The roots-country voice is subtle enough to allow access to even the uninitiated. Where is the Puzzle is pure pleasure and beauty. The singing rakes the soul and turns over the dirt, covering your existence. The spiritualist Grateful Dead song rendering flashes back to a time more simple and less removed from life. A broken sliding into and out of sorrow and ecstasy bounces you over the seas of times.
If you spent time on the grass of a 3-day set of shows in the past, you'll hear it on this disc. You'll be reminded of the other world pass bestowed upon you and those with you. You'll find that voice resurrected in the upper chakras, blowing out light and storm. It's the guitar, the voice, the slide, the drums that take you away. Take you very far away, to a better place you've created in your infinite mind. "O I'm disappearing" is the line that describes this feeling. It's about the transition between lives, the validation of being and the passion of a voice. If you can feel this, you'll get this record.
It's always so hard to know where to drop in to a disc like this. I found a couple of entry points that really paid off, and I slowly began to recognize the value in this collection of songs.