The story goes that Will Oldham's first performance some 25 years ago included a cover of Merle Haggard's "It's Not Love (But it's Not Bad.)" Merle Haggard's music figures prominently in Oldham's work as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy. His 2007 take on "The Way I Am" introduced Merle to a new audience of music-lovers, including yours truly. Next month will see the release of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's full-fledged Merle Haggard tribute album, Best Troubador. (Check out the video for bonus track "Mama Tried" here.)
Will Oldham spoke with me last week about Hag and the new album for WKCR's Merle Haggard Memorial Broadcast & Birthday Celebration. Our conversation originally aired April 6, 2017.