Thursday, February 19, 2009
– King Wilkie will release their third disc in late April on a new label. "King Wilkie Presents: The Wilkie Family Singers" streets April 28 on Casa Nueva. David Bromberg, Robyn Hitchcock, John McEuen, Sam Parton (Be Good Tanyas), Peter Rowan and Abigail Washburn help out.
The CD is set against the backdrop of the fictitious Wilkie Family: a household containing the six Wilkie children, their shipping magnate father and matriarchal mother, a pair of house pets, a distant cousin, two family friends and a music therapist. The CD contains no plot, dialog or storyline. "You aren't supposed to know that much about these characters," says King Wilkie founder and principal songwriter Reid Burgess, "and you shouldn't need to in order to listen to the album."
Born in Charlottesville, Va. in 2003, King Wilkie debuted with "Broke" the following year as a hard driving bluegrass band. They won Emerging Artist of the Year from the International Bluegrass Music Association. They followed that with 2007's "Low Country Suite."
Now relocated to New York City, "This is still dusty, hand-made music," Burgess said. While brass and drums enliven some of the songs, the core sound of the band is still expressed through acoustic instruments, through guitars and fiddles.
"This album," Burgess said, "is not as cerebral or menacing as 'Low Country Suite.' It's a lot more fun. We tried to shake things up with more whimsical numbers - the Muppets were a persistent influence. If it runs the gauntlet a little bit stylistically, that's because I was thinking of things more cinematically, and thought there should be almost separate scenes or separate auras coming from different characters' perspectives."
This is the first release on Casa Nueva, a new label based in Watertown, Mass., founded by writer, musician and music industry veteran Brad San Martin. He has worked at Rounder Records and Compass Records.