Here’s another one for the remote quarantine duet file. Will Oldham, mysterious and beloved Kentucky gentleman, goes way back with Dave Pajo, the guitar wizard best-known for his time in the world-creating post-hardcore band Slint. (Pajo has also put out a lot of solo records as Papa M and spent time as a touring member of Interpol and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.) Oldham and Pajo come from the same Louisville scene of underground-rock kids in the ’80s, and Oldham famously took the photo on the cover of Slint’s 1991 album Spiderland. They’ve worked together every so often in the years since; Pajo, for instance, co-produced Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s 2001 album Ease Down The Road. Yesterday, as Brooklyn Vegan points out, Oldham and Pajo got together remotely to sing a song together, and Pajo posted it on Instagram.
The song they picked is an interesting one. Cody Wickline is a West Virginia country singer most famous for being a contestant on The Voice in 2015. Pajo and Oldham sang his 2016 song “Standin’ In My Way” — not a big or famous country song by any stretch. But it’s a well-written piece of work, and the two of them make it sound warm and crackly and old.
One of the problems with the recent quarantine duets is that the musicians just don’t sound like they’re anywhere near each other. That’s not an issue here. Somehow, Pajo and Oldham sound like they’re sitting right next to each other, even hitting vocal harmonies. Their rendition of “Standin’ In My Way” is soft and casual and gorgeous, and you can check it out below.
Yesterday, Oldham took part in the charity single “Lift Up Louisville.”