Americana act Wood Brothers to perform at Rose

The Wood Brothers (seen here) will perform with Guster at the Rose Music Center at The Heights on Tuesday, June 14. CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
The Wood Brothers (seen here) will perform with Guster at the Rose Music Center at The Heights on Tuesday, June 14. CONTRIBUTED

Duo will appear with Guster tomorrow night in Huber Heights.

The world changed dramatically in early 2020, just weeks after the Wood Brothers released its latest album, “Kingdom in My Mind.” The Americana act, on a double bill with Guster at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Tuesday, June 14, was forced to cancel concerts in the United States and Europe.

Now, however, the Wood Brothers have returned to making music. The group is not only touring but also recently began working on a new album.

The Wood Brothers, Chris (upright bass) and Oliver (acoustic and electric guitars), grew up in Boulder, Col. and fell in love with blues, folk and other American roots music styles at an early age. Although they’re known today for working together, that wasn’t always the case.

Chris attended the New England Conservatory of Music before co-founding Medeski Martin & Wood in 1991. The group, which remains active amid various side projects, has released more than a dozen albums since its 1992 debut album, “Notes From the Underground.”

Oliver relocated to Atlanta and spent about a dozen years in bluesy R&B act King Johnson. The band’s releases include “Cats and Dogs” (1995), “King Johnson” (1998) and “Hot Fish Laundry Mat” (2002). Shortly after that, Chris and Oliver formed the Wood Brothers. The group’s releases include “Ways Not to Lose” (2006), The Muse” (2013) and “One Drop of Truth” (2018).

Speaking by telephone from his home in British Columbia’s Southern Gulf Islands, Chris Wood recently answered some questions about the Wood Brothers, which is rounded out by multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix.

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Q: What’s the status of the next album from the Wood Brothers?

A: We’re working on music now. We just (wrapped) a pretty intensive studio session. We were living in a building for 12 days straight, working on a new record. It’s mostly recorded but we still have to finish a few things. The release date is on the books, but it’s not until April 2023.

Q: Did you work with a producer or was it self-produced?

A: The three of us produced it like we did with ‘Kingdom in My Mind.’ We’ve all made a lot of records so we’re pretty experienced with the process. We work really well together and balance each other. We all have different strengths and a lot of respect for each other. We love working together in the studio so we’ve had good luck producing ourselves. We need to lean on each other sometimes when we’ve been working on something and we’ve kind of lost perspective. When your bandmates help make decisions and reassure you or tell you to go in a different direction, it can save you a lot of time.

Q: Your concert at Rose Music Center is a co-headlining date with Guster. Are you friends with those guys?

A: No, actually, it was just kind of an idea. It was fun to try something different. We’ve never played together before but we liked the combination of the music and fans. We felt like it would work and make a nice summer package. We’re looking forward to that. We admire those guys and think they’re great so it should be really fun.

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Q: How has it been playing live shows in this unpredictable world?

A: It’s pretty surreal. We’ve been playing indoor shows from last fall until now. We kind of got used to it again but I remember at the beginning of last summer, it seemed liked COVID had disappeared. Then the Delta wave hit so even outdoor shows were either socially distanced or people would show up in cars and watch the show on a big screen like at the drive-in. People want to just have it all be back to normal again but we’ll see. It still feels a little unpredictable.

Q: How was the audience response once you started performing again?

A: I definitely felt that energy of people going out for the first time. It was a mixed bag, you know. You might have a sold out show but there might be 30 percent of the people that didn’t show up because there was still that apprehension with people. They may have bought the ticket but then they got cold feet and weren’t ready to be in a big crowd. But people who did come and felt OK about it definitely had big smiles on their faces. Once you get in there and surrender to it, you’re in it and then you just feel the joy of being around other people again.

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

HOW TO GO

Who: The Wood Brothers and Guster with special guest David Wax Museum

Where: Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Cost: $23-$53

More info: 513-232-6220 or www.rosemusiccenter.com

Artist info: www.thewoodbros.com

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