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Wood & Wire
Zeeland Street Market
Baton Rouge, LA
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Wood & Wire
The Texas songwriter tradition casts a long shadow today, and Austin-based Americana roots juggernauts Wood & Wire could easily rattle off a long list of songwriters that inspire them from Willie Nelson to James McMurtry, and everyone in between. But ask them about what it is about Texas that brought us so many great songwriters, and they stop cold. Thats because they dont romanticize their culture or their past, theyre too busy working their asses off making new music, writing new songs. This isnt a land made for quiet reflection, its a land made for hard work. Respect for honest labor is a central theme in Wood & Wires 2018 GRAMMY Nominated album for Best Bluegrass, North of Despair ( Blue Corn Music), with songs populated by people like songwriter Tony Kamels own grandfather, who built the familys hunting lodge in Llano, Texas with his own two hands. The characters on the album live large, and arent afraid to share their opinions about the modern world. This kind of vivid, haunting songwriting focused on lives spent deep in the countryside is a hallmark of Texas songwriting. But its the melding of this hard country songwriting with high-octane bluegrass instrumentation that makes for Wood & Wires signature sound. Artists like John Hartford have trod this ground before, mixing up great songs, bluegrass virtuosity, and a strong sense of place, and Wood & Wire aim to pave the way for Austins roots scene, bursting out of the giant expanses of the state with a fully-fledged vision for a new Texan sound. On North of Despair, they bring the ferocity of their live shows to the studio, whipping through barn-burning anthems about hard people in hard times.



Wood & Wire could have returned to Nashville to record North of Despair, but the pull of home was strong, so they elected to work in Dripping Springs, just outside of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. Holing up at renowned studio The Zone, they cut the tracks mostly live to tape, with minimal editing. Touring hard for the past three years helped solidify the songs, and you can feel the impromptu joy in each track. Bassist Dom Fisher lends a buoyancy to the music that mixes racing bluegrass bass lines with the backbeat of a great country bass player. A highlight of the group is the interplay between mandolinist Billy Bright and banjo player Trevor Smith, both of whom seem to delight in pugilistic bouts that romp through the songs, as much country-funk as it is Monroe & Scruggs. Though Kamel is the lead singer and songwriter, each band member contributes compositions and songwriting to the new album, a key feature of Wood & Wires democratic nature. Brights Summertime Rolls propels a fire-breathing mandolin line, but he takes a more philosophical stance on As Good As It Gets. Fishers co-write with Texas songwriter Robin Bernard, Texas, has all the balletic grace of a great Western that reminds one of Townes Van Zandt. Kamel taps not only into his familys history in Texas, but also his love for the beautiful natural environments of the state and the raw power thereof; in Awake in the Wake he references the sound of cypress trees breaking apart during a thousand year flood.

Location

Zeeland Street Market (View)
2031 Perkins Rd
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
United States

Categories

Music > Americana
Music > Bluegrass
Music > Rockabilly

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!

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