Ted Pitney cut his touring teeth with King Wilkie, a Charlottesville, Virginia, based bluegrass outfit that earned a respectable level of success earlier this decade, winning the Emerging Artist of the Year award from IBMA in 2004 and playing some of the finest music houses in the country.
Soon after earning a place on the national stage, King Wilkie experienced both a drastic stylistic shift, morphing from the bluegrass of 2004’s Broke to the alt-country vibe of 2007’s Low Country Suite, and a period of revolving door membership. Pitney left the group in 2008, setting the stage for the recent release of his first solo effort, The Genesee EP.
Recorded with some of the finest musicians in Central Virginia – Brian Caputo on drums, Jake Hopping on bass, and Brian Chenault on guitar – The Genesee EP is both a fantastic record and a too short introduction to the evolution of Pitney as a songwriter and front man. Just five songs long, the EP hints at the emergence of Pitney as one of the finest new voices in the Southeast.
Pitney’s raspy voice rolls over a masterful blend of acoustic and dreamy electric guitars on the disc opener, “Thirteen Falls,” while “October Fire” is a mellow, sentimental ride. The five tracks fit together brilliantly, showing the intricacies of Pitney’s writing and the comfort he feels as both groovy rocker and folkie crooner.
Here’s hoping that this EP shines light on Pitney’s developing solo career. Some of us have our fingers crossed for an LP out of him next time.
The Genesee EP is out now.