When you get a new release from The Wood Brothers, you know what to expect – to a degree. You’ll get a groovy blend of sounds all put together in the band’s signature style. With a variety of influences including jazz, blues, country, and soul, it’s not easy to classify this band. Granted all of those influences fall under the umbrella of Americana. However, it seems incomplete to call The Wood Brothers an Americana band. On the new album Kingdom in My Mind, the band shows its range and its ability to write quality songs regardless of the musical influence.
“Little Bit Sweet” is one of three songs whose title starts with the word little. It features some bluesy guitar picking, a groovy bass line, and a beat that is muted, but still enough to get your toes tapping. The lyrics are evocative and tell the story about the bittersweetness of love and the passing of time. You can’t help but notice the harmony vocals in this song, which are reminiscent of The Band.
“Little Bit Broken” is a bit louder than you expect from this band. The organ gives it something of a funk feel, and it’s interesting to hear the organ and the bass do a call and response. Meanwhile, the guitar has a fuzzy, distorted sound. This song also features some harmonica by Oliver that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Rolling Stones song.
“A Dream’s a Dream” is some lowdown blues with slide guitar, a walking bass line, and a piano part that puts you in mind of some old-time blues. About midway through, Oliver’s vocals take on a little rap quality. Not that you’ll confuse him with Tupac or anything, but the delivery changes and it’s noticeable simply because it’s so much different than what you expect from this band.
Whether it’s the jazz of “Alabaster” or the groovy alt-country funk of “Don’t Think about My Death,” this band shows that it can cover the Americana music spectrum, and do it very well. This band makes soulful, groovy tunes that are easy to sing and dance along with. If you’re already a fan of this band, this is the new batch of songs you’ll be singing the next time you see it live. If this is your introduction, it will likely inspire you to explore more of this trio. Kingdom in My Mind will be available everywhere on January 24. Order your copy here.