The Wood Brothers: Loaded

By: Wesley Hodges

The Wood Brothers second studio effort, Loaded (released April 1 on Blue Note Records) is a successful amalgamation of folk, gospel, country, roots and blues music produced by Chris Wood's Medeski Martin & Wood bandmate, John Medeski. Chris Wood and his brother Oliver have a close musical connection that really shines through on Loaded.

The lyrics are mundane in such a delightful way that almost any listener could connect with them. At the heart of the album is the sad inspiration and increased closeness the brothers experienced at the recent loss of their mother. Many of the lyrics have a tortured artist feel to them with an upbeat melody, thus providing a unique feel within the traditional blues format. The melodies are simple and hark back to a simpler musical time, and the Wood Brothers' harmonies are so tight that it sounds like they are just overdubs of the same pipes.

Every song here is not only listenable but downright enjoyable. "Postcards from Hell" is a great introduction for new listeners to the duo's distinctive rootsy, blues sound. The second verse sums up Loaded, saying, "You never heard a soul so pure and true/ It's flowin' right out of his hands/ He can sing sweet as a choir girl/ He can sing a house on fire." Dylan and Hendrix fans will certainly enjoy The Wood Brothers' takes on "Angel" (featuring Amos Lee)" and Dylan's "Buckets of Rain." "Make Me Down a Pallet On Your Floor" is probably the most enjoyable track on the record. It sounds like a couple of friends jamming on the porch on a sunny Friday afternoon. "Still Close" is the brothers' requiem ode to their recently deceased mother and is a fitting end to a rock-solid album.

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[Published on: 4/5/08]

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shoaf starstarstarstar Sat 4/5/2008 03:21PM
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"Make Me Down a pallet On Your Floor" is a Gillian Welch cover. Just thought that should be mentioned.

krimbosis starstarstarstar Sun 4/6/2008 08:07AM
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Shoaf, "Pallet" is a traditional tune mate. I've not heard the new album yet, so it could well have been inspired by Gillian Welch, but it's a standard blues song. Loking forward to receiving the new album.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Mon 4/7/2008 05:34AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

is a Gillian Welch cover<<<<< means she did not write it.

this is a good CD.. I like it.

keithrichardsforpres Mon 4/7/2008 05:45AM
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Great record, Wood's voice is spectacular, and the production is great too. You really feel like you're sitting right next to these two.

onemanband starstarstarstarstar Tue 4/8/2008 08:30PM
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wood brothers keep it realer than most

Warpar1 Wed 4/9/2008 03:14PM
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Great sophomore effort, for sure. It should also be noted that both John Medeski AND Billy Martin play on this album, as well as drummer phenom Kenny Wollesen (Bill Frisell, Sex Mob, John Zorn, etc). Great, relaxing disc. Love it.

TheGreenKynd starstarstarstarstar Fri 4/11/2008 09:39AM
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I can't wait to hear this. I thought their first album together was great.

DaveT Wed 4/16/2008 02:25PM
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I need to go buy this album. I've heard it gets better and better with repeated listening.

PooDolla Thu 4/17/2008 04:27PM
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Bought it. Liked it. Gonna see the live show as soon as the come to San Diego. Anybody seen them live? Do they have a drummer with them?

gr8flgal starstarstarstarstar Wed 8/19/2009 08:43AM
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I just saw these guys at a great club in Indianapolis. Wow, what a show! It was just the two of them and that's all you'll need.