Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Presents: The Wilkie Family Singers
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
King Wilkie's New Musical Neighborhood
D. Schlick | Boston, MA | 05/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Up-and-coming neo-bluegrass band King Wilkie has pulled up stakes and moved from Virginia to Brooklyn. Their new album "King Wilkie Presents: The Wilkie Family Singers" reflects a musical relocation as well. While retaining their ties to American acoustic music their new neighbors include Van Dyke Parks, Brian Wilson, Gram Parsons and Neil Young among others.
From richly produced ruminations on lost love to National steel guitar and banjo-driven throw downs to folky sing-alongs, Wilkie founder Reid Burgess and new partner Steve Lewis cover a lot of musical territory.
All these various musical elements combine to form a (mythical) family album which is nostalgic, lovingly familiar yet hints at mysteries and family secrets beneath the floorboards or behind the dusty picture frames on the walls.
Guest artists include: David Bromberg, Robyn Hitchcock, John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Peter Rowan (Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, Old and in the Way) and Abigail Washburn (The Sparrow Quartet, Uncle Earl).
Favorite Tracks: "Goodbye Rose," the wistful "Videotape," "Underground""
An enchanting indie/billy twang/pop mosaic
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 06/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"King Wilkie Presents: The Wilkie Family Singers"
(Casa Nueva, 2009)
An enchanting mix of styles, casually mixing alt-twang, boozy jug-band singalongs and art-song indierock. The first couple of tracks set the template, opening with an episodic country-harmony ditty ("Moon And Sun") that recalls the hippie-era hillbilly forays of the Byrds, a tune that gives way to "Goodbye Rose," a sweet song that sounds, for all the world, like an outtake from John Cale's "Paris 1919" album; there's a hint of The Band in there as well. Numerous high-power guess appear, including Peter Rowan, Abigail Washburn, Robyn Hitchcock and John McEuen. I guess it'd be more accurate to class this as a rock album than as a twang set, but either way it's quite nice. Creative and catchy, this record is packed with oddly appealing tunes. Definitely worth checking out. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To Country Music)"
Audacious pop concept by former bluegrass wunderkind
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 05/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you caught King Wilkie's bluegrass debut Broke, and somehow managed to miss their break with orthodoxy on 2007's Low Country Suite, you're in for a really big surprise. With the original group disbanded, and founding member Reid Burgess relocated to New York City, the band's name has been redeployed as the front for this stylistically zig-zagging concept album. The Wilkie Family Singers are an imagined co-habitating, musically-inclined family fathered by shipping magnate Jude Russell Wilkie, and filled out by a wife, six children, a cousin, two friends and two pets.
In reality the assembled group includes Burgess, longtime collaborator John McDonald, multi-instrumentalist Steve Lewis, and guest appearances by Peter Rowan, David Bromberg, John McEuen, Robyn Hitchcock, Abigail Washburn and Sam Parton. And rather than constructing a storyline or song-cycle, Burgess wrote songs that give expression to the family's life and backstory. As he explains, "Jude Russell Wilkie, Sr. had success with a Great Lakes shipping business, and becomes the father to a great family, whose normal familial roles aren't neatly defined as they grow older. Their insular lifestyle and wealth has them in a sort of time warp. They're wedged in limbo between past and future. Too big to hold mom's hand or ride on dad's shoulders, but still somehow too small to leave their childhood house."
Much as the Beatles used Sgt. Pepper as a backdrop to inform the mood of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Burgess works from his sketch to conjure a family photo album rather than a written history. There are snapshots of togetherness, isolation, and stolen moments of solitary time, there's lovesick pining, unrequited longing for the larger world, lives stunted in adolescence, violent dreams and medicinal coping. The band ranges over an impressive variety of styles that include acoustic country, blues and folk, rustic Americana, Dixieland jazz, `50s-tinged throwbacks and `70s-styled production pop. There's even some back-porch picking here, but this edition of King Wilkie has much grander ambitions than to embroider the bluegrass handed down by Bill Monroe. The festival circuit's loss is pop music's gain.
Burgess paints the family as lyrical motifs and musical colors rather than descriptive profiles. The latter might have been more immediately satisfying but would have quickly turned stagey. Instead, the family's dynamic is spelled out in small pieces, fitting the broad range of musical styles to create an album that plays beautifully from beginning to end. The songs stand on their own, but the family's presence is felt in the flow of the album's tracks. Casa Nueva hits a homerun with their maiden release, and King Wilkie proves itself a daring band whose next step should be highly anticipated. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]"