20 Watts

A Friday Night with The Wood Brothers at the Westcott by Isabel Alcantara

The Wood Brothers rocked Westcott Theater last Friday night

PREVIEW: VISIT The Wood Brothers’ Website
PHOTOS: VIEW below the cut!

The Friday night crowd wasted no time whooping and hollering during The Wood Brothers’ first song, a funky take on Steve Earle’s “Mystery Train Part II.”

“Feels like a Friday night,” guitarist Oliver Wood said, acknowledging the energetic crowd.

The brotherly duo treated the crowd to a night of personal, soulful, and bluesy songs.  The music was carried by Oliver Wood’s pitch-perfect trebly vocals and bassist Chris Wood’s eloquent and tasteful lines.   For this special show, they were joined by percussionist Jed Kosiner, who added rhythmic textures on his snare drum, cymbals, and pandeiro (a Latin, tambourine-like instrument).

Oliver later gave his appreciation for “The Wood Brothers dancers,” the smiling mini crowd of twirlers to his left the whole show.  You would have guessed they were a rock band by the way the crowd yelled during songs.

“The foundations of their music are spiritually inspiring.  If you look inside to the nature of yourself, you’ll see that that’s what they’re singing about.  The spirit,” said Funk ‘n’ Waffles co-owner Kyle Corea.

Chris Wood, also the bassist for Medeski, Martin, & Wood, brought his signature sound.  He took off on imaginative solos, making indescribable sounds with his upright bass we hadn’t heard anyone else make.  He didn’t need to watch his hands throughout his performance, and when he did it seems like he did for personal amusement.

Oliver Wood can hold his own as well.  He effortlessly threw in guitar licks in between his lush vocals lines, sometimes finger-picking a solo as Chris danced over the changes.  His guitar-work received notable applause during the blues jam “Spirit.”

And the two could harmonize.  Confident crooners.  Chris Wood sang soaring harmonies that blended organically with brother Oliver’s.   To the band’s delight, the crowd sang loud for a few choice tunes as well.

“If I die young / At least I got some chocolate on my tongue,” the room sang during “Chocolate on My Tongue.”

Before the show, Oliver Wood shared some insight on his approach to writing lyrics.  He said he writes a lot from personal experiences and likes that his songs have multiple interpretations.

Chris Wood said touring with his brother keeps things fresh for him, and it gives them time to catch up. He said the two do not spend much time together off the road.  When they come together, they play shows.

The Wood Brothers have new material they’ve been playing on the road and plan to put it on an album in the next two years.

Before ending the show with a danceable song, the two encored with “Luckiest Man,” the most requested song of the night, which erupted in a sing-a-long.

Oliver Wood complimented his vocal fans:  “You all sound great tonight!”

The 20-year resident of Georgia even shared some of his southern jokes.

“In Georgia, they say ‘Hey can you cut on the lights?’”

The crowd chuckled.

“You know what they mean, but why would you say it that way?”

— Review by Gene Wexler
— Photos by Harrison Kramer

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