Album Review of
Spirits In The Hills

Written by Joe Ross
November 28, 2017 - 12:00am EST
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There’s a lot to like about the Wilson Banjo Co., the first band to sign with Pinecastle’s new Bonfire label and record in their new studio in Piedmont, South Carolina. As the CD opens with “40 Years of Trouble,” most apparent about the band is their driving, crisp, banjo-centric sound led Steve Wilson, a masterful player and builder. After releasing an EP with friends in 2015 to promote his custom banjos, he gained national attention and put this current band together with Joey Newton (guitar), Sarah Logan (fiddle), Brandon Couch (mandolin), Dylan Armour (dobro), and Michael Branch (bass).

Currently a student in East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass Program, Logan does most of the lead singing. Songs like “Her Sunday Best” and “Ain’t No Grave” are given fresh, enthusiastic presentations. Four other band members also sing too, and solid vocals are a necessity for any up-and-coming band. This band’s approach gives them considerable variety and audience appeal. Steve Wilson sings “Railroad Man” and his self-penned “Shiner’s Mountain.” Brandon Crouch shines vocally as a storyteller on the title track, as well as the closer, “When He Reached Down His Hand.” Add in the players’ consummate instrumental work, and it’s immediately apparent that Wilson Banjo Co. has a great deal of potential to make a big name for themselves. As their music is heard, we can expect them to garner a legion of fans.  (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)