Sons of Bill take their name from a literal brotherhood shared by three of the band's five members -- Sam, Abe and James are the sons of Bill Wilson -- but their heartland-tinged melodies place them in a figurative brotherhood with some of the last half-century's greatest rock musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, Son Volt and John Hiatt. They're a swift kick to both the head and the heart, with honest lyrics carried by steamroller drums, hefty guitar and weeping organ. To this reliable template, the Virginia-based band often adds a touch of southern class and soul.
Produced by David Lowery (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven), the band's third full-length record, "Sirens," was released in March of this year and wasted no time in garnering popular and critical acclaim. They've quickly joined a pack of contemporary acts of the riotous roots-rock variety that includes the likes of the Gaslight Anthem and Glossary.
For this session, they smoothed out their edges and turned down a bit. The session starts with the unreleased song "A Gentleman's Rage," and continues with the mid-tempo "Siren Song," the pseudo-title track from the aforementioned record. Capping it off is a wonderfully executed cover of R.E.M.'s "I Believe."
All photos by Chris Bay.