Live Review: Oliver Wood & Friends @ Rams Head On Stage — 4/20/22

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Oliver Wood leads his trio in a performance at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis on April 20, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Solo endeavors for some musicians might almost seem predestined, and in some cases the effort can elucidate just how much a certain individual has meant to the success of the outfits they’ve represented.

And while no one would ever want him to stop making music with his brother, Chris, it comes as no surprise to see Oliver Wood — one half of the siblings comprising The Wood Brothers — embarking on his own this spring in support of his debut album, Always Smilin’.

Performing with his trio as Oliver Wood & Friends at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis recently, Wood proved himself to be every bit the diverting, charismatic lead vocalist and the spirited, organically talented guitar player who’s helped make The Wood Brothers a pillar of alternative folk and roots music for almost 18 years.

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Live Review: The Wood Brothers @ 9:30 Club — 1/26/22

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Chris Wood performs at 9:30 Club on Jan. 26, 2022. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

At one point during The Wood Brother’s set at 9:30 Club recently, I pointed out bassist Oliver Woods’s unusual technique on the electric bass. Rather than the standard overhand overhand method of playing the instrument, he was using the hand positioning that is standard for the guitar. That wasn’t the only thing that was unusual about Chris’s playing: When he plays the upright bass, he typically uses a bow.

This versatility and use of unusual techniques in Chris playing comes from his background prior to the formation of The Wood Brothers, He studied jazz bass at the New England Conservatory of Music, after which he cofounded the jazz fusion group Medeski, Martin & Wood. 

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Live Review: The Wood Brothers @ Frederick Fairgrounds — 6/6/21

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The Wood Brothers heat things up at the Frederick Fairgrounds on June 6, 2021. (Photo by David LaMason)

One thing you can say about The Wood Brothers, they sure know how to put on a show. And it was a celebration that seemed to signal good things to come.

It goes, really, without saying, but it’s been a tough year. For many in attendance at the Frederick Fairgrounds Sunday evening, this was the first time seeing a live performance since the winter of 2020 — a long thaw indeed! But as Oliver (guitar/vocals) and Chris Wood (bass/harmonica/vocals) and multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix hit the stage things started heating up. That’s both figurative and literal as the summer heat kept drive-in attendees going back for some much needed refreshments from their cars.

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Preview: The Wood Brothers @ Frederick Faigrounds, 6/6/21

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The Wood Brothers (Photo by Alysse Gafkjen)

The Wood Brothers released Kingdom in My Mind, the band’s eighth studio album, earlier this year, and the Nashville trio are hitting Frederick Fairgrounds in Maryland for Showtime at The Drive-In on Sunday, June 6. Only a few tickets remain for full cars of fans who would like to catch the show.

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Snapshots: The Wood Brothers @ Rams Head Live — 1/29/20

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The Wood Brothers perform at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, Jan. 29, 2020. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

The Wood Brothers kicked off the first leg of their Kingdom in My Mind tour recently with a solid performance at Baltimore’s Rams Head Live. The Jan. 29 show came on the heals of the trio’s newest album release, Kingdom in My Mind, which dropped on Jan. 24, via Honey Jar/Thirty Tigers.

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Best of the Year: Top 10 Concerts of 2019 by Mark E.

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Rosanne Cash placed as one of Mark Engleson’s top shows of the year. Read on to see who else made the cut. (Photo by David LaMason)

Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2019 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.

Editor (again): After much consideration, the prolific Mark Engleson chose his top 10 shows for 2019.

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Snapshots: Red Wing VII Roots Music Festival @ Natural Chimneys Park (Mt. Solon, VA) — 7/12-7/14/19

Red Wing Roots Festival VIIRed Wing Roots Festival VIIThe Steel Wheels pose for a picture at the seventh annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

The Steel Wheels presented the 7th annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival at Natural Chimneys Park and campground in Mt. Solon, Virginia, last weekend. It was three days across five stages with 40 bands performing along the North River, under the Natural Chimneys, known as the Cyclopean Towers.

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Live Review: The Wood Brothers @ Wolf Trap — 6/8/19

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The Wood Brothers perform at Wolf Trap on June 8, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

An eclectic assembly of music fans were treated to a double-dose of incredible music one recent weekend evening in suburban DC as The Wood Brothers and Lake Street Dive co-headlined a summer season concert at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center.

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