The Wood Brothers

REVIEW: The Wood Brothers “Heart Is The Hero”


The Wood Brothers – Heart Is The Hero (Honey Jar/Thirty Tigers)

For Heart Is The Hero, The Wood Brothers’ latest LP, they opted to record the entire album completely analog to 16-track tape, rather than employ a much more modern digital process. They did this intentionally to put limitations to the music, opting to capture their performances in real time similar to what audiences hear when they catch the band live. As a result, they couldn’t go back and easily clean up any missteps or flubs. The result is organic and impressively warm.

The trio makes remarkably satisfying roots music that takes just as much from rock as they do from folk and Heart Is The Hero is exactly what fan have come to expect from the band: heartfelt lyrics played brilliantly by a trio that sounds like a band twice their size.

While there are a number of songs here that sound like they could have come off of any of the band’s earlier efforts, like the reassuringly sweet “Between The Beats” and the album opener “Pilgrim,” The Wood Brothers also manage to stretch musically here. “Far From Alone,” starts out like a traditional Roots number before expanding to add in trombone, piccolo and closing into a full-fledged New Orleans-worthy jazz jam. And “Line Those Pockets” is one of their darkest, jarring songs yet both musically and lyrically.

“The recording process for this album was completely different from our last one, Kingdom In My Mind, where we had all the time in the world to experiment, tinker, and shape performances,” said Chris Wood. “For those sessions, I was living in Nashville close to Oliver (Wood) and Jano (Rix), but I’ve since relocated to Canada, so our time to record together this time around had to be extremely focused and intentional. I think those limitations actually added something special. The end results feel raw, honest, immediate, and vulnerable, more so than any other record we’ve made to date.”

And while this album is probably the closest they’ve come in the studio to capturing their live sound, acknowledging the cliche, there is still nothing like seeing The Wood Brothers on a stage. The band, who seem to be constantly on the road, recently completed a West Coast tour and is now playing shows across the Northeast and Southeast followed by a Spring tour that covers the Mountain States, Great Plains, and Texas and will spend the summer touring in the Midwest before hitting the Northeast again.

Find more information and tour dates here:

Enjoy our previous coverage too, here: REVIEW: The Wood Brothers Continue to Impress with “Kingdom in My Mind”

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