Last month, Pinecastle Records announced the opening of the label’s own recording studio, known as Bonfire Recording Studio, in their home base of Piedmont, South Carolina. Along with that studio comes a new label imprint known as Bonfire Recording Company, the mission of which is to develop artists of all genres based in and around upstate South Carolina, particularly the Greenville area. The first band signed to the label is Wilson Banjo Co., a traditionally-leaning bluegrass group headed up by banjo player (and builder) Steve Wilson.
Wilson is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to bluegrass music, splitting his time between building custom banjos, performing vintage guitar restoration, working as a recording engineer, assisting his wife Melanie with bluegrass publicity company Wilson Pickins Promotions, and of course, performing with Wilson Banjo Co. Wilson released an EP with several musician friends last year, partially as a way to promote his custom banjos, but ended up organizing a full-fledged band when the EP began to attract radio attention. The group now also consists of Joey Newton (guitar), Sarah Logan (fiddle), Brandon Couch (mandolin), Dylan Armour (dobro), and Rob Walker (bass).
The debut full-length album from Wilson Banjo Co., titled Spirits in the Hills, is due for an October release from Bonfire. In the meantime, those interested in hearing more from the group can check out their website, www.wilsonbanjoco.com, which has live videos and sample tracks posted.