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Arts & Culture

'The Most Natural Thing': The Wood Brothers Play Tonight In Saxapahaw

A picture of the Wood Brothers.
The Wood Brothers

Brothers Chris and Oliver Wood went their separate ways after growing up in Boulder, Colorado. 

Oliver headed to Atlanta where he formed the band King Johnson which combined, blues, R&B, funk and country. 

Chris traveled to New York to continue his studies on jazz bass and went on to form the instrumental Medeski, Martin and Wood

The brothers grew apart. They played in separate bands for more than a decade, until they were double-billed one fateful night in Winston-Salem:  King Johnson opened for Medeski, Martin and Wood.

“It was just a magic night,” Oliver recalled. “And it was just, like, the most natural thing for Chris and I to be up there together." Chris agreed.

“Oliver fit right in, it was great. And it was weird watching him playing with us, because I kind of recognized all of his moves. I realized there was a blood chemistry going on.”

That prompted a conversation about making music together full-time and the The Wood Brothers were up and running. That was four albums ago.  Their latest is called “The Muse”, and judging by the songs, the muse is alive and well.  Here's the title track:

The brothers collaborated to write “Neon Tombstone". Chris had the chorus ready to go without a home. Oliver provided the verses. They harmonize on the melancholy anthem.

They’ve been compared to The Avett Brothers, but they have more jazz and blues influences.

“We’re fans of that stuff,” Oliver said. “But I think what that also does is it inspires us to be different.”

The Wood Brothers are playing The Haw River Ballroom tonight in Saxapahaw along with drummer Jano Rix.

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