The Wood Brothers And Their Family Business
A family business of sorts, Radio.com sat down with The Wood Brothers over beers (a lovely wheat Hoegaarden) on the eve of their record release The Muse. Before the trio took the stage at Rockwood Music Hall in New York for their album release party, they filled us in on how the band came to meet and sign with Zac Brown, their unique approach to songwriting, and how your kitchen can be a woodshed for building instruments.
Living and playing in Atlanta, Oliver met some of the guys in the Zac Brown Band, where they're based, who then introduced his music to Brown. Liking what he heard, Brown signed The Wood Brothers to his label Southern Ground.
"It's really neat because as an artist himself, at the helm of the label, he's maybe more sympathetic to the artist than your average record label president," Oliver said. "He lets us do what we do and is very supportive."
Their latest Americana release, The Muse, was recorded in Brown's Nashville studio and produced by Buddy Miller (Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin). A positive influence on the project, Chris said this was one of the main reasons they enlisted Miller.
"Right before you do anything Buddy says, 'This is going to be great!' And that's why we got him, because he makes you feel really good," Chris joked. "He has a zen way of producing where he doesn't say a lot, but when he does it's just the right thing. He also is an encyclopedia of music and he can reference anything. He'll bring something up on his laptop that's inspiring or pertinent to the situation."
A man who Chris said can gently steer a band in the right direction, The Wood Brothers always felt like they were at the helm of the project. And the writing and recording process this time around was more collaborative, as all three members now live in Nashville.
"Neon Tombstone" is one track that came about rather unconventionally. Both Chris and Oliver have their own notebooks for lyrics and Oliver shared a chorus with Chris that he needed verses for. Coincidentally, Chris had a bunch of verses that needed a chorus. Written years apart and in different cities, the two merged their lyrics for the track.
"It just so happened they serendipitously fit together," Oliver recalled. "Then we got together with Jano and he gave it a feel and a groove and a music part. [Songwriting] can happen all different ways but that was a neat way to collaborate, start separate and then collaborate in the end." more on this story
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