The Wood Brothers Cover “Ophelia” & More In Denver Performance [Review]

first_imgThe story of the Wood Brothers is one of reunion. After growing up in Boulder, CO, Chris and Oliver Wood went their separate musical ways–Chris to New York City where he would become a third of the trailblazing avant-garde jazz act Medeski Martin & Wood, Oliver to Atlanta where he would eventually form the blues act King Johnson. In 2004, the brothers reunited and decided to start making Americana music together. The rest, as they say, is history.Friday night, the Wood Brothers returned to their home state of Colorado for a sold out performance at Denver’s Ogden Theatre. As Oliver put it, “We’ve never sold this many tickets, ever.”The evening opened with a terrific set by songwriter and cello virtuoso Ben Sollee. Joined by Jordan Ellis on a minimalist drum set, the duo defied categorization by jumping through classical, Mexican, folk, Cajun, and electronic influences. Highlights including the rag-tag ode to New Orleans’ rescue workers “Cajun Navy” and the clever wordplay of “The Long Lavender Line” that examined modern technology (Another man with an iPhone walks off a cliff—Says he’s chasing creatures).Now with eight albums under their belt, the Wood Brothers were able to dive deep into their discography for a “greatest hits” type show on Friday. Oliver’s raspy voice was as strong and honest as ever throughout the night, especially on the Allman Brother’s cover “Midnight Rider,” “Wasting My Mind” and “Postcards from Hell.” Chris Wood got to open up multiple times on his upright bass, including an extended solo that led into a rocking take of the sing-a-long “One More Day.” He even took over lead vocals on the heartfelt “Touch of Your Hand,” one of many tracks played off their 2015 release “Paradise.”Though the songwriting and chemistry between Chris and Oliver Wood was undeniable, it was the third member of the trio that really stole the show—multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix. Rix jumped between drumset and his signature shuitar (a percussive acoustic guitar covered in bells and whistles), also adding melodica and electric piano to tracks while still holding down the backbeat on the kit.During a segment Chris dubbed the “Oh Wood Brother Where Art Thou?” portion of the show, the band silenced the crowd and huddled around a single condenser microphone stage center in homage to the bluegrass days of old. Ben Sollee would join on cello during this time for “Liza Jane.”The Wood Brothers were eager to promote their latest soon-to-be-released album Live In the Barn, which they recorded at the late Levon Helm’s barn studio in Woodstock, NY. They played a couple new tracks off the record and appropriately encored with the Band’s tune “Ophelia.”last_img read more