With ‘Best Troubador’ Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (aka Will Oldham) pays homage to his forever hero, the late Merle Haggard. Out via Spunk Records, ‘Best Troubador’ sees Oldham covering songs from across the country icon’s discography, from Haggard’s third album in 1967 though to his 47th in 2011.
A singer who, some 25 years previously, first performed in public by playing a Merle Haggard song, Oldham has often cited Haggard’s work in performance, on records and in conversation with anyone who was around, even talking to the man himself for Filter magazine in 2009.
Haggard’s body of work was considered by Oldham for a record such as this for some time, but his passing in April of 2016 almost put a stop to it. The goal was to participate in the handing forward of the songs of a living legend, as Haggard had done so many times in his own career.