Almost every day I cruise the internet for music sites in which help pass my mundane life. The internet is a wonderful tool and I don’t know where I would be without it. I love catching up on the musical world. Sometimes doing so can lead to new artists. The Wood Brothers are one of the most recent bands I have stumbled on. Their new album Paradise had me right from the start with its musical diversity. And by the time the album was over, it had me begging for more.
The Wood Brothers are a trio out of Nashville. They have been making records since 2006 and they just released their sixth studio album. The band is made up of Chris Wood, his brother Oliver Wood and Jano Rix. Chris Woods is a bass player who developed his playing technique from mostly jazz music. His previous band(s) were solely instrumental, so this outfit is a breath of fresh air for him. Oliver Wood has been a singer songwriter for quite a while and his guitar playing always seems to groove. The songwriting and playing between brothers molds together perfectly, like most family bands do. It was just recently that they added Jano Rix as a full time band member. He is the bands drummer and multi-instrumentalist.
The album, Paradise, is full of versatility and rhythm. I would consider them a Folk-Roots band, but they touch in so many different genres its hard to put a label on them. Together they showcase how each member adds its own flair to the form the ‘sound’. While a lot of bands stick to one sound, the Woods Brothers seem to mix a variety. You hear hints of jazz, blues, rock, and a whole lot of fun. The ten songs are full of life and soothing moods. It gets you tapping your toes and moving to every grooving beat. The albums subject matter is that of longing and desire. Perhaps part of the reason why I enjoy the album is that its everybody’s goal and dream to have fulfillment in life. Even in the album artwork you can see a depiction of a mule with a dangling carrot in front of him. The goal and fulfillment of that carrot – in site but just out of reach.
The first song that really stands out is “Never and Always”. It is a stripped back track with minimal drumming, stand up bass and acoustic guitar. They have also added two special guest musicians to this track. Susan Tedeschi joins in with her beautiful and delicate harmony while Derek Trucks adds brilliant slide guitar work; on a side note, those two musicians form the blues rock, Tedeschi Trucks Band. The simplicity of the song seems to add a lot of depth and complexity. It feels warm and intimate. The chorus vibrates inside of my every bone.
“Even when I’m sitting still, my soul still wants to roam”
The ending song, “Rivers of Sin” is a great concluding song. It reminds me of a gospel Church hymn that resolves the overall ‘theme’ of the album. It is stripped back, beautiful and perfect.
“They say good things happen up river
They say the river, it can wash a man clean
But down here the water’s just dirty
You can try but it’s hard to get up from down stream
But I’ll try again
I’llpaddle up this river of sin
I’ll send up a broken amen
I’ll swallow some pride but I won’t be denied
’cause I’ll try again and again”
A Must Have Album
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