Tortoise & Bonnie Prince Billy The Brave and the Bold (Overcoat Recordings) Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy) has never been one to shy away from taking chances. After all, he's the man who gave himself a new moniker to release a collection of cover versions of his previous band's works (Sings Palace Music). And he got away with it. The past 12 months have seen him collaborate with Matt Sweeney (formerly of Chavez) on the superb Superwolf, and the Kevin's Pink Nasty, among others, for the excellent live recording Summer in the Southeast. So, what next from the one-time southern goth king's bag of tricks? Oldham's record company had been at him to cover other people's material - and when he finally agreed, he did so on the condition that he could choose his own backing band. Always one for surprises, on The Brave and the Bold, Oldham digs out Chicago's lauded avant-garde jazz/rock experimentalists Tortoise and lets them rip into a suitably diverse collection of songs. They tackle Brazilian Milton Nascimento's swirling Cravo e Canela with gusto before bringing things back down to earth with a haunting examination of Bruce Springsteen's Thunder Road - a piece much closer to Oldham's heart. As with most cover projects, there are a few misses. Devo's That's Pip is as weird as the original and best forgotten. But there are some minor gems, most notably English folk stalwart Richard Thompson's Cavalry Cross, which is given the full Oldham treatment and comes out an even darker journey than the original. Elsewhere, a version of Daniel is enough to give Elton John and Bernie Taupin nightmares.