Wilson Banjo Co.’s new single “Sadie Danced a Hole in Her Stocking” is a perhaps improbable title for the Steve Wilson-led project’s latest release. It does reveal a previously unexplored side of the band. Wilson began recording and releasing music as an interesting way of promoting his South Carolina instrument business and fulfilling his musical ambitions. However, his 2014 debut EP and subsequent releases make it apparent that he possesses the necessary prowess to pursue music full-time. “Sadie Danced a Hole in Her Stocking” smartly plays to its title and the song’s bluegrass swing will win scores of admirers.
That bluegrass swing creates an irresistible groove early on. If you are a newcomer to Wilson and his talents, you’ll nonetheless immediately feel in capable hands. Wilson Banjo Co. has a complete grasp of the song’s arrangement. It continues showing this over and over again during the course of the song as Wilson Banjo Co. builds around the players trading solos with immense skill.
It doesn’t undermine the song, however. “Sadie Danced a Hole in Her Stocking” isn’t an instrumental track poorly masquerading as a song but, instead, manages to adroitly straddle the line between two worlds. There is the world of structured traditional bluegrass working seamlessly alongside its contemporary counterpart and there isn’t a single uncomfortable second. The two styles come together and make for one of the best bluegrass band performances you’ll hear this year.
Sarah Logan’s vocals are especially appealing. She’s never overwrought and the loose-limbed affability sparking off her phrasing will hold the listener’s attention. It is easy to hear, as well, that she’s an attentive singer. Logan’s vocals are shaped to the song’s changes without ever outright mimicking the instrumental melody and it makes for a deeper listening experience.
The song title is certainly reminiscent of tradition. Wilson doesn’t run from it. The track, however, doesn’t treat bluegrass like a butterfly pinned under glass. It may not bemoan the fate of man or provide listeners with a poetic look within, but it exudes life and light from every note. You’ll smile, maybe laugh, and rejoice in every dazzling musical turn that Wilson Banjo Co. serves us during the course of “Sadie Danced a Hole in Her Stocking”.
It’s easy to hear music like this as a relic. Wilson Banjo Co. doesn’t allow that, however, and grabs you by the figurative lapels without ever coming off as threatening. There’s a wont to expect songs in this vein to fit in certain molds, but Wilson Banjo Co. follows their own muse and Steve Wilson’s musical vision owes nothing to no one.
They are relentlessly entertaining, however. It’s a band winning fans on their terms rather than giving audiences a song and dance that isn’t true to their hearts. Wilson Banjo Co. is giving us their arguably finest recorded moment yet and it isn’t difficult to hear that even greater moments are awaiting the band. Their single “Sadie Danced a Hole in Her Stocking” is quite unlike anything else out there now.