Monday, April 17, 2023
Ticket purchased are non-refundable
The Wood Brothers have partnered with American Friends of Canadian Conservation so that $1 per ticket will support The Nature Trust of British Columbia (NTBC) in their efforts to conserve ecologically-rich wetlands and protect irreplaceable land from development. Every $1 donated will be matched by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with $2 so more endangered wetlands can be saved. If you’d like to learn more, please visit this link.
The Wood Brothers have learned to trust their hearts. For the better part of two decades, they've cemented their reputation as freethinking songwriters, road warriors, and community builders, creating a catalog of diverse music and a loyal audience who’ve grown alongside them through the years. That evolution continues with Heart is the Hero, the band's eighth studio album. Recorded analog to 16-track tape, this latest effort finds its three creators embracing the chemistry of their acclaimed live shows by capturing their performances in real-time direct from the studio floor with nary a computer in sight. An acoustic-driven album that electrifies, Heart is the Hero is stocked with songs that target not only the heart, but the head and hips, too.
"We love records that come from the era of less tracks and more care," explains co-founder Oliver Wood. "When you use a computer during the tracking process, you have an infinite number of tracks at your disposal, which implies that nothing is permanent, and everything can be fixed. Tape gives you limitations that force you to be creative and intentional. You don't look at the music on a screen; you listen to it, and you learn to focus on the feeling of the performance."
Throughout Heart Is The Hero, those performances are matched by the visceral storytelling and songwriting chops that have turned The Wood Brothers into Grammy-nominated leaders of American roots music, even as their music reaches far beyond the genre's borders. The stripped- down swagger of "Pilgrim" underscores Oliver's reminder to slow down and experience each moment as an interactive observer, rather than a passive tourist. A similar theme anchors "Between the Beats," where Oliver draws upon a meditation technique — maintaining one's focus on the space between heartbeats — to reach a new level of presence. The gentle sway of country soul gem “Rollin’ On,” featuring horns by Matt Glassmeyer and Roy Agee, expounds on the time- honored tradition of love as the guiding light through darkness, while ”Mean Man World" finds Chris Wood singing about his responsibilities as a father whose young daughter is poised to inherit an uncertain future. "Line Those Pockets" is a universal call for mercy and understanding over materialism. "Everybody's just trying to be happy, so put your money away; line those pockets with grace," the band sings int hree-part harmony during the song's chorus, which emphasizes compassion over cash as the world's true currency. Together, these songs offer a snapshot of a spirited, independent-minded group at the peak of its powers, always pushing forward and seeking to evolve beyond what’s come before.
"There's still acoustic guitar, upright bass, and percussion on this album — things people use all the time — but we're always thinking, 'How can we make this sound like us, but not like something we've already done?'" Oliver says. "Sometimes, the only way to do that isto get weird."
That sense of exploration pumps its way through Heart is the Hero like lifeblood. Arriving on the heels of 2019's Live at The Fillmore,2020's Kingdom In My Mind, and Oliver Wood's solo album Always Smilin' — all of which were released on Honey Jar Records, the band's independent label — Heart is the Hero is bold, bright, and singularly creative, a fully realized collective effort ultimately greater than the sum of its parts. Perhaps that's to be expected from a group whose willingness to experiment has earned acclaim from Rolling Stone and NPR, as well as an annual touring schedule of sold-out music halls and theaters on both sides of the Atlantic. Ask The Wood Brothers, though, and they'll tell you to expect the unexpected.
"We are never satisfied if we are not searching for new musical recipes," says Jano Rix, nodding to the uncharted territory that Heart is the Hero covers. Chris Wood agrees, adding, "We are one of those bands that isn't easily categorized. We know what our strengths are, but we can’t help but push the envelope, as well. It’s too much fun."
From Baltimore comes Cris Jacobs — an unexpectedly gritty soul-blues singer and guitarist with outlaw country ethos. Blending a variety of musical traditions, Jacobs creates a distinctive voice and sound of his own punctuated by emotive songwriting and explosive guitar playing. Equally at home playing heartfelt Americana ballads or funky blues rockers, Jacobs is known for his mesmerizing live shows, where his improvisational guitar playing, powerhouse band, and deep reservoir of songs make each night a unique experience.
Named one of Rolling Stone’s “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” in 2017, Jacobs has collaborated with the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and Dumpstaphunk’s Ivan Neville, and earned opening slots on tours with Sturgill Simpson and Steve Winwood.
In his early days coming up in Baltimore, Jacobs spent 10 years as a member of eclectic rock band The Bridge before making his debut as bandleader and sole songwriter with 2012’s Songs for Cats and Dogs, emerging with renewed focus and a refined sound.
With three solo albums to his name, a collaborative record with Ivan Neville aptly titled “Neville Jacobs”, songwriting credits that include bluegrass artists Audie Blaylock and Frank Solivan, New Orleans funksters Dumpstaphunk, and gospel legends Blind Boys of Alabama, Jacobs continues to evolve and display his wide range of writing and performing prowess. “No matter the song”, he says, “I just like to keep it soulful and let the music speak for itself”.