What a beautiful sound Bonny Light Horseman make – at times vintage American Folk, and at times striding fearlessly into Incredible String Band territory. It comes from a deep love of British folk that infuses their upcoming eponymous album. But who are Bonny Light Horseman, and what is it that makes their music sound so ethereally beautiful and in-tune with the rhythms of the soul? Well, two good questions.
Bonny Light Horseman are that too rare thing, a supergroup who actually are… super. The sum of parts that makes an even greater whole are Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats), and Josh Kaufman (Craig Finn, Josh Ritter, The National). And how do they make this sound ? That is a slight mystery – this song is the first and only take of the song, recorded in the wee hours of a midwinter’s night at Dreamland Studio in Woodstock. Each musician brought their own musical ideas to the rehearsals and the direction toward traditional songs from the British Isles emerged quickly. “I think it’s fair to say we are all inspired by traditional music in different ways,” Mitchell says. “We wanted to rework old songs but not in a ‘research project’ way. The emotions, the feeling of momentousness, the openness—even the chords being in open tuning—we wanted everything to be wide open. It was very healing to delve into these old stories and images that have existed for so long that you can rest in them.”
Bonny Light Horseman will be playing a few UK dates early next year:
01/29 – Glasgow, UK – Celtic Connections w/ Anaïs Mitchell (at Old Fruitmarket)
01/30 – Glasgow, UK – Celtic Connections w/ Anaïs Mitchell’s CAMPFIRE (at Saint Luke’s)
01/31 – London UK – Roundhouse w/ Anaïs Mitchell