Sometimes a band name doesn’t attempt to be funny, even though it ends up that way. Take Charlottesville’s Sons of Bill, for example. Three of the five members are, in fact, the sons of a guy named Bill. Through three albums and one EP (as well as a new 7” released for last month’s Record Store Day) Sons of Bill have ripped high quality, high energy Son Volt-esque alt-country. Last year’s Sirens, produced by Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven guru David Lowery (who adds his own fantastic drawl here and there), was a glorious amalgamation of old school outlaw country and southern rock but with notable added depth. In short, if there were a band that summed up the intellectual/southern/hippy feel of Charlottesville, Sons of Bill are probably it. They rarely stray outside their comfort zone, but that’s a good thing – any odd asides in the midst of the wonderful Americana they’ve mastered would seem forced.
They’re an amazing live band, honing their talents during a seemingly relentless touring schedule. All five members are extremely talented, and their extended live jams are the stuff of legend. The brothers’ familiarity continually shows as they trade riffs and solos. And the band always seems to kick it up a few notches higher when playing in their home state, so tonight’s show at the State Theater should be a damn good one.
Central Virginia is well represented tonight as the Dericks – also from Charlottesville – will open the show. The Dericks have a more pure country sound and some damn good melodies (think of early Whiskeytown). It’ll be a night of music that will make you want to fire up the barbecue and let summer roll in.