The Wood Brothers, who you may never have heard of, have been my favorite band for over a year now. Chris Wood, who plays bass for the jazz trio Medeski Martin & Wood, joins up with his brother Oliver, guitar player for the Atlanta blues band King Johnson. With Chris on standup bass and Oliver on guitar, they bring a unique vibe that I’ve described as what Van Morrison might have sounded like if he grew up in Mississippi.
These guys are two of the tastiest players I’ve heard– every note is exactly what belongs in its place. The simplicity of the instrumentation, the perfect blend of the brothers’ voices, the weighty ease of the lyrics– everything combines to make you just close your eyes and smile.
Melissa and I saw them for the first time in Atlanta last fall and it was pretty magical. Last week Tyler and I caught them at the Visulite to celebrate my birthday, and they didn’t disappoint. (Some college kids who sat next to us for a while did, but whatever.)
If you like this taste, both of their studio albums are well worth the purchase: the 2006 debut Ways Not to Lose and last year’s Loaded. They also have a new covers EP, Up Above My Head, coming out in June that’s currently available at their shows (and at the link). I picked it up at the show last week and have loved it– the best surprise is a fresh rendition of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider.”
If you’re looking for something new, and especially if you’re in a music rut, pour a glass of wine and check these guys out. They’ll bring some color to your world.