EPISODE 4: THE WOOD BROTHERS
Brought to you by Heineken & Whitney Peak Hotel
The Wood Brothers are an Americana and blues band, and consist of real brothers Chris (Upright Bass) and Oliver Wood (Acoustic and electric guitars), as well as multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix.
From early in their childhood in Boulder, Colorado, Chris and Oliver were steeped in American roots music. Their father, a molecular biologist, performed classic songs at camp fires and family gatherings, while their mother, a poet, instilled a passion for storytelling and turn of phrase. The brothers bonded over bluesmen such as Jimmy Reed and Lightnin’ Hopkins, but their paths, musical and otherwise, would diverge. Oliver moved to Atlanta, where he played guitar in cover bands before earning a spot in Tinsley Ellis’s touring act. At Ellis’s behest, Oliver began to sing and then founded King Johnson, a hard-touring group that released six albums of blues-inflected R&B, funk and country over the next 12 years. Chris, meanwhile, studied jazz bass at the New England Conservatory of Music, moved to New York City and, in the early 1990s, formed Medeski Martin & Wood (MM&W), which over the next two decades would become a cornerstone of contemporary jazz and abstract music.
After pursuing separate musical careers for some 15 years, the brothers performed together at a show in North Carolina: Oliver sat in with MM&W following King Johnson’s opening set. “I realized we should be playing music together,” Chris recalled. Soon after, the pair recorded a batch of Oliver’s songs, channeling the shared musical heroes of their youth while seizing on their own individual strengths — Oliver’s songwriting and Chris’s forward-thinking musicianship. A demo landed them a recording contract with Blue Note, who released Ways Not To Lose in 2006. Follow-up Loaded came in 2008; after covers EP Up Above My Head the next year, the band moved to Nashville’s Southern Ground Artists forSmoke Ring Halo, 2012’s Live, Volume One: Sky High and Live, Volume Two: Nail and Tooth. In October 2013 the Wood Brothers fifth and latest studio release, The Muse was released with Buddy Miller serving as record producer.
The Muse was recorded at Southern Ground Studios in Nashville. The Wood Brothers are now officially a Nashville-based band, with Oliver having relocated in 2012, and Chris recently following. It was the first time the brothers have lived in the same city since early adulthood.
Their first studio album, Ways Not to Lose, was produced by John Medeski. It was recorded at Allaire Studios in Shokan, New York in September 2005 and released in 2006 on Blue Note Records. Ways Not to Lose was the Amazon.com editors’ number one pick in folk for that year,and the album also made NPR‘s “Overlooked 11” of 2006.