Video: Bill Callahan & Bonnie Prince Billy “The Wild Kindness” (ft. Cassie Berman)
Directed by Ben Berman. Single out now on Drag City.
It’s David Berman week, apparently. Yesterday, we featured the video for a song by a member of what was supposed to be Berman’s touring incarnation of Purple Mountains, and today we have a cover of a Silver Jews classic by his Drag City labelmates and his widow.
Bill Callahan and Will Oldham have been releasing covers of classic tunes throughout the pandemic. My favorite of these has been their version of Steely Dan’s “Deacon Blues” but this one’s pretty good too.
They recruited an army of singers for it. In addition to Cassie Berman, they’ve also got Elisa Ambrogio, Meg Baird, Ben Chasny, Bill MacKay, Haley Fohr, David Grubbs, Cory Hanson, Emmett Kelly, Matt Kinsey, Sean O’Hagan, David Pajo, Todd Rittmann, Alasdair Roberts, Matt Sweeney, Mick Turner, George Xylouris, Azita Youssefi. That’s like half the Drag City roster!
Callahan says, “The infrastructure of this song should set an example to politicians of all type—everybody sings of wild kindness.”
Not sure it can hold a candle to the original but it was probably cathartic to record and maybe even fun. The video is hilariously silly.
Audio: Silver Jews – “The Wild Kindness”
From American Water (Drag City, 1998).