The new King Wilkie album Low Country Suite has the band adding other influences to their traditional Bluegrass with excellent results. Compared to the Avett Brothers, who made a similar move with Emotionalisdm, I feel the King Wilkie album is far superior. I admit that I am on an island when it comes to the Avett Brothers new effort. Every magazine website and blog I have seen gushed with praise for Emotionalism. I seem to be the lone dissenter. However, I feel the Avett Brothers lost their edge on the album. The edgy Bluegrass they played became pop with no attitude on emotionalism. The album sounded like a knock off of early Beatles records. I expected them to break out in a "Love Me Do" cover at anytime.
How could the Avetts have expanded their music and made it work? Listen to King Wilkie's Low Country Suite and you have your answer. A likewise edgy bluegrass band, they went in some new direction without losing their identity. Somehow they have managed to cross the American songwriting landscape in a way that was honest but doesn't try to deny where they started. It is not an easy thing to do. But King Wilkie succeeded where the Avetts did not.
Click here to take a listen:
Check out this YouTube clip of Wrecking Ball: