Last Tuesday night (November 27), the Wood Brothers, the tandem of singer-guitarist Oliver and bassist Chris Wood, filled a crowded Parish room at the House of Blues with their spirited, homespun folk-blues melodies. Since kicking up the 2006 diamond-in-the-rough Ways Not to Lose, the off-season side project of Medeski, Martin & Wood’s bassist (Chris) and King Johnson’s front man (Oliver) has crept its way up to the forefront of the country’s modern folk/Americana scene, releasing the critically acclaimed Loaded in 2008 and following up a 2010 tour in support of the Zac Brown Brown band with 2011’s Smoke Ring Halo.
True to their roots, the live show has always been the center of the Wood Brothers’ wheel, and their camaraderie, the band’s driving force. Both masters of their respective instruments and uncanny improvisers, on stage the vibe is loose, lively and free. But underneath the tugging, twang and jangle, the brothers trade licks — be it a beat, a bar, a bridge or a break — one cajoling the other down a subtle series of twist, turns and grooves until each converges upon the next. In the same way, Oliver’s captivating croon circles the band’s underdog tales, seeping in from the outskirts of its verses en route to sweeping up the song’s chorus.
Percussionist Jano Rix joined the brothers’ Wood on their recent New Orleans junket, which saw a rousing “Postcards from Hell,” a rowdy “Mary Anna” and a riveting “Luckiest Man” among its highlights. Photographer Kate Gegenheimer caught the show. Check out her shots below:
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All photos courtesy of Kate Gegenheimer. See more shots from the New Orleans music scene on OffBeat’s Flickr page.