Wood & Wire
Anyone wondering about Wood & Wire‰Ûªs sound need not look any further than the four-piece band‰Ûªs name, which honors the purity of acoustic instruments and the gorgeous music a skilled artist can coax out of just simple wood and wire.
The Austin-based band‰Ûªs self-titled debut album, which was released on February 5, 2013, is an engaging collection of music that is deeply rooted in bluegrass traditions, although the members themselves draw upon country and Americana and listen to everything from Doc Watson to Led Zeppelin.
Founded in 2010 by guitarist Tony Kamel and mandolin player Matt Slusher, who honed their acoustic skills playing with acts like Graham Wilkinson, South Austin Jug Band and Rodney Hayden, respectively, Wood & Wire began to take form when bassist Dom Fisher joined Matt and Tony‰Ûªs jam sessions. Last spring, the trio officially added Trevor Smith (Green Mountain Grass) on banjo and started making a name for itself on the Austin music scene, their infectious songs and high-energy live performances drawing fans to venues like the legendary Cactus Cafe.
Working with producer/engineer Erick Jaskowiak in Nashville, Wood & Wire cut fourteen stellar, original songs for their first album, which delivers what Smith describes as ‰ÛÏa modern take on traditional mountain, hillbilly, and country music‰Û� and Slusher terms ‰ÛÏDirty Texas Grass.‰Û� The material ranges from the historical (‰ÛÏCoal Mining One‰Û� is set in 1940s Kentucky) to the heartbreaking (‰ÛÏSetting the World on Fire‰Û�) to the humorous (the raucous ‰ÛÏRollin‰Ûª in the Washingtons‰Û� takes a less-than-sober look at the financial situations‰ÛÓor lack thereof‰ÛÒof touring bluegrass musicians who have a taste for liquor and an eye for the ladies), and they‰Ûªre all expertly arranged, thanks in part to the two band members who have had classical training. Tight, three-part harmonies, sprightly mandolin, and rolling banjo keep the band‰Ûªs sound grassy, while occasional contemporary flourishes, like the electric bass and the phaser effect on ‰ÛÏWashingtons,‰Û� speak to the group‰Ûªs diverse backgrounds and far-flung musical influences. Fiddler Brittany Haas adds an extra-musical layer to several of the album‰Ûªs songs, including ‰ÛÏFool Out of Me,‰Û� a waltz that, recorded live around a single microphone, feels as though it must have been found in a dusty stack of 45s and given new life.
Touring in early 2013 with Yonder Mountain String Band, Wood & Wire is poised to have a breakout year; as they bring fiery bluegrass foot stompers and loose, acoustic jams to packed venues across the country, it‰Ûªll be hard to say who‰Ûªs having a better time: the band or the crowd.
Booking InfoBrandon Mann