King Wilkie, the Charlottesville, VA-based string based whose multiple personality shifts defy description, have announced June 26 as the release date for their upcoming CD, Low Country Suite, their first for Rounder imprint, Zoe Records.
The band got its start in traditional bluegrass, combining a love for the old sound with youth and a fashionista flair. They released a single CD for Rebel Records in 2004, Broke, which featured a stark, “neo-primitive” bluegrass sound. With six members still in the twenties, King Wilkie was a hit at bluegrass festivals and in clubs, and were selected as emerging artist of the year by the IBMA that same year.
Tierra Del Fuego was their next project, a limited-release CD with 8 new tracks. Here, they began to show a move away from bluegrass to a sound more reminiscent of the early country rock days of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito in the 1970s.
On Low Country Suite, King Wilkie has chosen the latter path, with a more sophisticated sound, assisted by noted producer Jim Scott. The move away from traditional string music now seems complete, though the influences that informed their journey are still apparent.
Four tracks from the new CD are previewed on their MySpace page if you would like to sample the band’s latest persona.