The Wood Brothers released their first official album recently. Until now all that had been available were bootlegs of live shows that were only attainable through generous friends. Their new album is titled “Ways Not To Lose” and was released by Blue Note records, the same label that has claim over bassist Chris Wood’s other band, Medeski, Martin, and Wood. To classify this work into a single genre is a tough call to make, and general consensus seems to be throwing it into either ‘funk-folk’ or the ever-vague ‘porch-stomping’. Both descriptions are more than fairly accurate and once you hear the album for yourself I’m sure you’ll spend awhile trying to come up with your own classification. Truth be told, just about any combination of folk, blues, funk, country, soul, and rock should apply. The problem of describing their music in normal terms of genre provides a pretty good idea of why this album is such a standout.
Oliver Wood (also a member of the band King Johnson) plays acoustic guitar and his brother Chris is on bass, along with minimal percussion on select songs. The album was produced by John Medeski. To get a feel for their sound, check out the song, “Stealin'”. It is not on “Ways Not To Lose” but is still well worth the listen.
Songs such as “The Truth Is The Light” and “Atlas” really give you a feeling of sitting on an old porch on a quiet night. While I would urge you to experience this album as a whole, if you really just want a sample, get the song “Spirit”. It has shown up on a number of their earlier bootlegs and is lyrically outstanding.
To celebrate the release of this debut album, The Wood Brothers broadcast a live show from the World Cafe in Philadelphia, which you can still listen to at NPR. The only songs on that live setlist that are not available on the new album are “Chevrolet” and “Down”. Also, If you feel the need to see them live, The Wood Brothers will be playing at Bonnaroo this year.
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