Bill Callahan & Bonnie Prince Billy – “I’ve Been The One” (Little Feat Cover)
Ever since Bill Callahan released his album Gold Record in September, he and longtime friend and collaborator Will Oldham have released a long string of cover songs, enlisting help from many of their peers along the way. Just in the last couple of weeks, Callahan and Oldham, working under his Bonnie “Prince” Billy alter-ego, have released covers of Jerry Jeff Walker, Robert Wyatt, and Callahan’s own Smog project. Today, they’ve taken on the cult-beloved ’70s country-rockers Little Feat.
Callahan and Oldham’s latest cover is a spare, slow take on “I’ve Been The One,” a song from Little Feat’s self-titled 1971 debut. It’s a song about recovering from a bad breakup, admitting to yourself that you’re sadder than you think you should feel. Callahan sings most of the song himself, his baritone hitting you right in the gut.
The Callahan/Bonnie Billy version of “I’ve Been The One” is entirely acoustic, and they recorded it with Meg Baird, the psych-folk great who’s been a member of groups like Espers and Heron Oblivion and who released the solo song “Cross Bay” earlier this year. The part at the end, where Oldham and Baird come in on harmonies, is just lovely. Listen to the cover and the Little Feat original below.
Bill Callahan and Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s version of “I’ve Been The One” is out now on Drag City.
UPDATE: Jack Black, in character as Van Dyke Parks, weighs in on Drag City’s YouTube: