's on Chicago's Drag City Records. Often mistaken for an old man due to his cracking vocals, sparse guitar pickings, and biblical dialect,
has recorded since 1992 with a variety of sidemen -- basically, any friends or acquaintances that can play an instrument.
Raised in Louisville, KY, Oldham
first became involved in acting; he starred in John Sayles' 1987 mining film Matewan, playing -- with considerable ease -- a teenage preacher and miner. Two years later, he moved to TV for Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure and returned to the cinema in 1991 for Thousand Pieces of Gold, another mining film. At the same time, Oldham
was also involved in the fertile indie rock scene in Louisville, picking up his first technical credit for the photograph on the cover of Slint
's 1991 classic, Spiderland
the musical artist debuted in 1992 with the single "Ohio River Boat Song" on Drag City Records. Though he was credited as Palace Songs
on the single, Oldham
's debut album the following year was filed under Palace Brothers
-- in part to denote the work of Todd Brashear
. There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You
introduced several of Oldham
's continuing themes: drunkenness, sin in general, and the varied results of each.
Recording regularly during 1993-1994, Oldham
released several singles and an EP (An Arrow Through the Bitch
) before his second album -- self-titled but also listed as Days in the Wake
-- was issued by Drag City in 1994. Again, Oldham
followed with a string of limited-release singles and one EP, but mixed things up for late-1995's Viva Last Blues
(as Palace Music); Oldham
recruited a band, with guitarist Bryan Rich, organist Liam Hayes
, and bassist Jason Loewenstein
). The following year's Arise, Therefore
back in a largely solitary setting.