Matt Sweeney and Bonnie "Prince" Billy

Friday, April 15, at the Grog Shop.

The Green Butchers Cinematheque
On their superb collaboration Superwolf, Matt Sweeney and Will Oldham (a.k.a. Bonnie "Prince" Billy) play ballads with the intimacy of bunkmates, conjuring a parched farm where panther-girls and man-donkeys toil and spank one another. The sweet, absurd imagery would sound cloying in most hands, but not here, thanks to Oldham's unself-conscious delivery and Sweeney's fragile harmonies and swelling guitar, which props up the melodies like a fence post. The spare but kind tone suggests a melding of English folk with the grit of American country, and while the album is never far from desolation -- as on the grueling "Blood Embrace" -- its best moments are the most graceful, like "Beast for Thee," which is ready to pat your neck as you die in its arms.
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