There’s a coming of age moment in every artist’s career (if he doesn’t die young like most of his heroes) where he can’t help but suspect this same temptation of rock and roll - when the idealistic and foregone conclusions of a 17-year-old eventually have to confront the compromises and disillusions of adult life, the realities of the modern music industry, and the fears of his own limitations. While this moment of desperation destroys some artists, for others it brings to bear their best work - stripping bare any pretensions and posturing. For the SONS OF BILL, a young band of brothers from Virginia, this work presents itself in the album Sirens.
Formed in 2006 and named after the father of the aforementioned brothers, Sons of Bill sound combines traditional country and folk songwriting with instrumentation and presentation of a rock band. While most self-identified “southern” bands concern themselves with taking on a blue-collar credibility, the three Wilson brothers came from a home that was distinctly Virginian - not only musical, but also literary and philosophical. Dad was a theologian at The University of Virginia, and also taught southern literature. He exposed his boys to the country and folk music that was indigenous to the region. But more than just music, their home played a role in developing a whole outlook early on in life. “There was real sense that the life of the Southern gentleman, the cavalier, was something to aspire to. There’s a sense of living a principled life, a stoic sense of justice and honor,” and then adds, laughing, “It’s hard to make sense of that sometimes in the rock and roll world.” With Sirens, this combination of rock and roll desperation and southern humility somehow manages to make its way onto tape. Though they may sound like strange bedfellows on paper, it all makes perfect sense blasting out of the speakers.
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