Matthew "Wink" O'Bannon was a guitarist with some well known Louisville bands including Bodeco and Eleventh Dream Day. He passed away last year leaving many friends and former bandmates bereft. His friend Tara Key of Antietam decided to honor Wink's memory by gathering some of his favorite songs, enlisting Louisville musicians who loved him, and paying tribute with a new album called His Majesty's Request: A Wink O'Bannon Select. Furthermore, the album will benefit two organizations that specialize in music education for youth - AMPED and Girls Rock Louisville. The album features some of the best artists Louisville has to offer including Will Oldham, Catherine Irwin, Janet Bean, Rick Rizzo and Douglas McCombs of Eleventh Dream Day, Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew of Yo La Tengo, David Grubbs, Todd Brashear, Tara Jane O'Neil, the members of Juanita, and more.
From Tara Key:
When Wink fell ill in 2020, my band Antietam and many of his friends were feeling helpless about the situation and wondered how we could help him. I tricked Wink into telling me some of his favorite songs of all time, without revealing my mission- to have his pals make a record to support some of his day to day costs. We began work on the record, mostly consisting of Antietam recording backing tracks and having folks do vocals. In some cases, the participants did the entire track by themselves.
Then...pandemic. Work slowed, and then we lost Wink. The crew talked and we decided to, instead, complete the project and have the proceeds go to charity in Wink's honor. We chose two Louisville charities with a mission of music education, to honor Wink's commitment to both archiving the contributions of the Louisville scene on his vast YouTube channel, Hammerofthedogs and to honor the fact that he taught numerous people in Louisville how to play and if not that, educated them in the history of rock.
The full release will be on all streaming platforms on October 15th.
Check out their cover of Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" on their bandcamp page here.