Bill Callahan & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Blind Date Party

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Pre-Order. Released 28th January, via Drag City

The Blind Date Party hosted by Bill Callahan and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and featuring AZITA, Matt Sweeney, Alasdair Roberts, Matt Kinsey, Sean O’Hagan, Bill MacKay, George Xylouris, Dead Rider, David Pajo, Mick Turner, Meg Baird, Ty Segall, Emmett Kelly, Cory Hanson, Six Organs of Admittance, David Grubbs, Cassie Berman, Cooper Crain and Sir Richard Bishop happened online in the autumn and winter of 2020 - 2021 but the party planning dated back to the spring of 2020.

Stuck at home, with no gigs in the foreseeable future, Bill, Bonnie and Drag City needed an outreach program to keep themselves busy, not to mention sane. In the absence of any company or anything on the calendar, playing songs they loved was an idea; playing with people they loved, the desire. And making it fun - so pairing someone with someone else having no say in the matter, the essence of the blind date, was the plan. Favourite songs were chosen; players from around the Drag City galaxy were messaged. Pretty soon, songs were flying back and forth - music in the air

By autumn, the songs started to appear online: Bill and Bonnie singing a song by someone they loved and admired; each song cut by another artist they loved and admired, then sent to Bill and Bonnie to provide the finishing touches. The spotlight pointed in every direction each week: toward the singers and writers who’d originally played the songs (Yusuf Islam, Hank Williams Jr., Dave Rich, The Other Years, Billie Eilish, Steely Dan, Lou Reed, Bill Callahan, Jerry Jeff Walker, Robert Wyatt, Lowell George, Johnnie Frierson, Air Supply, Will Oldham, Leonard Cohen, David Berman, Iggy Pop and John Prine), toward their featured collaborators, the artists whose artwork adorned each digital single and videos made by still more collaborators.

Like the best parties, it turned out to be everything and more than they’d even hoped for. So many more people were involved in the process that would on the page here. Suffice to say, making records over the years has required a broad sense of community and an always-surprising mix of independence and unity, inspiration and utility. Some of the best memories are those where as many of our folks as possible were together in one place at one time. The Blind Date Party was one of these, maybe the most improbable one yet. It’s for everyone who’s here and it’s in the name of everyone who’s gone but will never go and will always live with us here. This album will too.