1. Bill Callahan and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Blind Date Party 

An album of cover songs put together like a quarterly of short stories.

No. Title Original by Length
1. “Blackness of the Night” (featuring Azita) Yusuf Islam 3:45
2. “OD’d in Denver” (featuring Matt Sweeney) Hank Williams Jr. 3:30
3. “I’ve Made My Mind Up” (featuring Alasdair Roberts) Dave Rich 4:27
4. “Red Tailed Hawk” (featuring Matt Kinsey) The Other Years 2:40
5. Wish You Were Gay” (featuring Sean O’Hagan) Billie Eilish 3:54
6. “Our Anniversary” (featuring Dead Rider) Smog 5:19
7. “Rooftop Garden” (featuring George Xylouris) Lou Reed 6:20
8. Deacon Blues” (featuring Bill MacKay) Steely Dan 7:17
9. “I Love You” (featuring David Pajo) Jerry Jeff Walker 6:41
10. Sea Song” (featuring Mick Turner) Robert Wyatt 7:21
11. “I’ve Been the One” (featuring Meg Baird) Little Feat 3:55
12. “Miracles” (featuring Ty Segall) Johnnie Frierson 4:17
13. “I Want to Go to the Beach” (featuring Cooper Crain) Iggy Pop 5:34
14. “Night Rider’s Lament” (featuring Cory Hanson) Michael Burton 4:59
15. Arise, Therefore” (featuring Six Organs of Admittance) Palace Music 3:24
16. The Night of Santiago” (featuring David Grubbs) Leonard Cohen 4:16
17. “The Wild Kindness” (featuring Cassie Berman) Silver Jews 3:32
18. Lost in Love” (featuring Emmett Kelly) Air Supply 4:05
19. “She Is My Everything” (featuring Sir Richard Bishop) John Prine 4:46


Although this is a collection of remakes it is steeped in originality. This feels like a music version of a collection of John Steinbeck short stories. Short stories about love, birds, religion, sex, mortality, marriage, and more love. Picture John Steinbeck reincarnated into a songwriter and it might come out the way Bill Callahan and Will Oldham intended here. This a front porch album. It’s an album to put on with your friends, drinking some beers as the sun goes down and the mosquitoes start biting. It demands your attention and it doesn’t. Let it be the forefront of your time with it or let it be the quiet soundtrack subtly giving you life as you go about your day. 

Most of the song choices are obscure. Even the recognizalbe artists. “Blackness of the Night” by Cat Stevens? I had to look it up. It was his from his second album, New Masters, released the same year as his debut album, Matthew & Son. That is one of the wins here. Your music literacy grows just by spending time with this record.

It all started as a pandemic endeavor where they kept releasing cover song singles. Including covers of their own originals, “Our Anniversary” and “Arise, Therefore”. I really wasn’t familiar with either artist before entering into this. I know, I know, shame on me. What happened is “The Night of Santiago” came up in my Apple Music algorithm and I just couldn’t get past how much I loved the beautiful simplicity of its presentation.

When they put all the songs together as a collection I dove in. Every time I listen to the album I am drawn to something new. Although I lean toward Bill’s deeper voice, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s quirky tenor is stunning. I love that this feels like an album everyone would have had collected if it had been released in the 70’s. A double LP of beloved artists who have never gained overwhelming fame, but the music industry finds endearing and would have lifted this up with zest.

There you have it. My last of my three number one albums of the year. Thanks for being here.

If you know the original of any of the songs you might not even recognize the covers here. These arrangements will take you places that you will be surprised by. It might have been the third time through before I realized they were covering Steely Dan’s “Deacon Blues”. It has such a slow driving, unassuming tone here, I totally missed it.

This review with both Bill and Will covers all of the thought processes of the song choice, arrangement, all Drag City Records guest artists, and more. It is a great read.

Bill Callahan and Bonnie “Prince” Billy Merge Their Musical Minds

The two artists talk about overlooked recordings, their new album of cover songs, and paying tribute to their late friend David Berman. Two years ago, the singer-songwriters Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Bill Callahan released a cover of Yusuf/Cat Stevens’s ” Blackness of the Night,” a grim, quiet song about exile, heartache, and loneliness.

From the article above on song order.

b.c.: If we told you the truth, you would think we were yanking your chain. [Laughs.] It was chosen by a dog—Dan Koretzky’s dog. He set up an elaborate situation in his apartment, with every song title and every performer’s name on a treat. Somehow the order in which the dog found the treats around Dan’s apartment determined who got what song.

Blind Date Party, by Bill Callahan & Bonnie “Prince” Billy

Blind Date Party by Bill Callahan & Bonnie “Prince” Billy, released 10 December 2021 1. Blackness Of the Night (feat. AZITA) 2. OD’d in Denver (feat. Matt Sweeney) 3. I’ve Made Up My Mind (feat. Alasdair Roberts) 4. Red-Tailed Hawk (feat. Matt Kinsey) 5. Wish You Were Gay (feat.


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