Pensacola, Florida
Monday August 20th 2018


When Brothers Converge

By Kate Peterson

Sometimes it takes 15 or so years to realize you had a band formed—when you were born. That is exactly what happened to Chris and Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers. After their formative years, Chris Wood went on to be a founding member of the jazz trio, Medeski, Martin & Wood, while Oliver was on tour with famous electric blues musician, Tinsley Ellis and formed his own band, King Johnson.

Each of these brotherly pursuits were lofty enough on their own, but after playing a gig together, the brothers Wood, decided they should be performing together all the time. Their voices and skills blend so well, it was a logical move. So began, The Wood Brothers.

They are a roots-music, blues inspired, harmonizing, treasure trove of musical talent. Oliver plays guitar and is lead vocalist, Chris is stand-up bass and vocals.

IN had a chance to talk to Oliver Wood and pepper him with some questions about their humble beginnings, the separate musical lives they both lived and the reunion to form The Wood Brothers.

Growing up they were inundated with the music their father played and listened to. According to Wood, “My brother and I have a very musical dad, when we were kids he played guitar all the time, folky stuff. He had a huge repository of blues and folk records; we were exposed at an early age. It made an impression on us both. Even though we went our separate ways later, we started out together.”

Fighting is something all siblings do, and it was no different for these brothers.

“We were pretty average,” Wood said. “I was the normal older brother, and picked on Chris plenty. He has an obsessive motivation and a tendency to overachieve; I may be responsible for that.”

“I have two boys now who love to get on each other’s nerves,” Wood continued. “As for us being siblings and forming a band after all these years, I would have to say that getting a later start, we already had shed our baggage, we had complete identities, skill and confidence.”

Wood toured with Tinsley Ellis, which he noted was a great experience for him starting out as a musician.

“It was two years, and my first gig, in Atlanta, the early ‘90s and I was green,” he explained. “The pace on the road was a little bit of, ‘What have I gotten myself into,” and a lot of, ‘This is the greatest thing ever.’ It was free and perfect, no mortgage, no kids yet. Being able to get out there, and do it was the best education. Ellis was a great mentor.”

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