The Wood Brothers made a greatly appreciated stop in Buffalo on the 24th of June in support of their first ever live release, Sky High, a title that seemed to describe the mood of the crowd on this perfect summer night at the Tralf Music Hall.
Few were prepared for the beautiful Sunday mass-style healing we were about to experience. The Wood brothers, Chris on upright bass and Oliver on guitar, joined the stage with their unique drummer Jano Rix, and opened with the stylish and soulful cover of ‘Up Above My Head’, immediately showcasing their perfect 3-part harmonies and the amazing acoustics that the Tralf has to offer. Their one long set of songs old and new, ranged from folk-type ballad ‘Lovin Arms’ (which was dedicated to their mother) to songs more gritty and blues driven like ‘Where My Baby Might Be’. It really made you wonder how they are pulling off so many genres of music with such style and accuracy.
The Wood brothers really took us back in time to a simpler place as they gathered around a mic in the front of the stage with Rix on ‘shuitar’, a beat up acoustic guitar with lots of gadgets that he played like a cajun. They played a few songs of this style like an old bluegrass group and the crowd that was mostly seated was now dancing like crazy. Chris Wood transitioned from the fingered jazz bass style to a classically bowed interlude during a beautiful solo that then opened the doors for a vivacious version of a Wood Brothers classic, ‘Liza Jane’. This portion of the show was some of the most soulful music this reviewer has ever seen performed. Things got a little more funky and free with songs like ‘One More Day’ and ‘Honey Jar’. It was here that Jano Rix proved himself to be the best possible addition to this amazing duo. His style of drumming is raw, but relaxed and it really compliments the more classic style of playing of the brothers.
The Wood Brothers took the stage once again for an encore, ‘Luckiest Man’, a song that really shows the world that the Woods are all about great songwriting. The guys really got the crowd going once more with ‘Shoofly Pie’ from their latest album, Smoke Ring Halo, again showing off their incredible harmonies and Oliver’s southern roots.
The band lingered happily after the show signing merchandise and chatting with fans until the venue was empty. In fact, at the very end there was about 6 fans sitting with Oliver chatting around a round table who looked like they weren’t going anywhere anytime soon. These are really great guys, truly amazing musicians with so much soul and talent that put on a show you can’t get anywhere else. Do not miss an opportunity to see them. Bands like this don’t come around too often. They will be performing at this year’s moe.down in Turin, NY at the end of August as well as other festivals around the country.
Visit www.thewoodbros.com to pick up a copy of their new live release, see complete tour dates, and more.