Fridays After Five: Bill's Sons Grow Up
Local country-rock quintet Sons Of Bill kicked off last year's Fridays After Five season, and even though they'll be in sort of the same position this weekend, they certainly haven't been resting on their laurels in between. The band's current career trajectory seems so deceptively mature that at times it's hard to believe its roots go back only to 2005.
For those who aren't already following along– shame on you, first of all– the project came out of a weekend that songwriter James Wilson spent in New York with his guitar-whiz older brother Sam. Both were equal parts broke and annoyed by the cost of drinking in New York bars, so instead of indulging that pastime, they had to spend their time moping around and playing music together. Things went so well that the elder Wilson relocated to Charlottesville to help bring the songs to life. Middle brother Abe joined the roster, and the rest is history.
All this is old news, though. What may not be so well known is that the band recently cut a deal with Red Light Management, the highly selective local artist management firm that's responsible for artists like the Dave Matthews Band, Good Charlotte, and the Decemberists.
"We got intimidated by their roster– there are no other country-rock outfits," says Sam Wilson. "At first we were a little scared because they're such a big company, but it's nice that you can just walk in the door. They're always available."
He adds that the band has been doing well outside Charlottesville, particularly in D.C., Richmond, and Harrisonburg, but this gives the boys the backing of a well-reputed group of industry experts with the connections to really take them places. Last summer, Red Light landed a serious major label record deal for Sparky's Flaw, another Charlottesville band in their stable.
It's appropriate, then, that the band is thinking big, and about more than just the next album.
"James and I want publishing deals for our songs, and I want to keep doing my solo albums, and I'm a session guitarist, and want to start getting hooked up," says Sam. "We're ready to work."
Sons Of Bill performs for free at Fridays After Five on April 18 at the Charlottesville Pavilion.