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Low Country Suite (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Having built a reputation as a bluegrass band to watch out for, King Wilkie decided that it was time to see what else they could do for their follow-up to 2004's Broke. The answer is plenty — there's still some great traditional and progressive bluegrass to be had from this Virginia sextet, but Low Country Suite presents a more well-rounded — though still mostly acoustic — Americana that only the most die-hard bluegrass purists among the group's fan base might object to. Reference points are fairly easy to pinpoint: the usual gang of late-'60s country-rockers (minus most of the rock), the less navel-gazing of the introspective singer/songwriters of the '70s (plus some punch), and the more recent crop of hybrid bands that have successfully merged those same influences and put a modernist spin on them. King Wilkie's change in direction — more personalized, often moodier songs, flirtations with pop, more challenging song structures — would not have worked if they weren't crafting material good enough to take the band to that next level, and they are: "Angeline" is a shambling honky tonker fueled by scurrying fiddles and soulful steel, while "Stone & Steel" is of the opposite temperament, a whisper of a ballad whose vocal harmonies and foreboding melody sum up just how willing King Wilkie are to visit new places. They probably could have continued to become an even better bluegrass band, but King Wilkie now have something more original and lasting to offer. Bill Monroe would forgive them.

Customer Reviews

Low Country Suite -- great new stuff

These guys have done it again. Great songwriters...great musicians. Though I have always loved their bluegrass, I can very much appreciate this new sound they've gone after. A lot of bands can't get away with it, but these guys can. Their harmonies are brilliant and the variety of instruments make this CD just good listening. If you go to their shows, you still get to enjoy some of their bluegrass and if you haven't bought "Broke" and you like bluegrass, don't delay. Alison Krauss has managed to pull off this type of variety and I think these guys have done it in much the same way...with style and grace. Highly recommended.

I really like the new sound

This is a move away from the more traditional sound of their last album - which I also liked- I think this album is a progression to a more unique sound. The great musicians are still there- the bluegrass roots are still there, but the direction is clearly different and I for one prefer it. Can't wait for more.

Understated Brilliance

I have followed King Wilkie for a few years and must say that I couldn't be happier with their new direction. This album is subtly rendered and captures an emotional and musical maturity far beyond what one would expect from a young group. Crazy Daisy is my favorite song of the year.


Formed: 2003 in Charlottesville, VA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s

Formed in Charlottesville, VA, in 2003, bluegrass sextet King Wilkie boast the talents of Reid Burgess John McDonald, Ted Pitney, Abe Spear, Nick Reeb, and Drew Breakey. Pitney and Burgess dedicated themselves to the genre after attending a festival while at college in Ohio. After relocating to Virginia in 2001 they recruited the remaining members and began work on their 2003 debut, the live and independent True Songs, with their studio debut, Broke, following in 2004....
Full Bio
Low Country Suite (Bonus Track Version), King Wilkie
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Customer Ratings