The Wood Brothers have announced the release of their new album, 'One Drop of Truth,' due February 2 via Honey Jar/Thirty Tigers. The 10-track collection, their sixth studio recording to date, was self-produced by the longstanding trio featuring brothers Oliver and Chris Wood along with Jano Rix. The album’s opening track, "River Takes the Town," is especially poignant. Written prior to natural disasters that decimated parts of the world this summer, it was recorded just one day after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. The song premiered today at Paste Magazine (http://bit.ly/paste-woodbrothers) and can be streamed and shared now (https://youtu.be/a-B3N-bsf3A). It's available at all music streaming and download services along with the full album pre-order tomorrow.
The Wood Brothers will tour extensively behind 'One Drop of Truth.' The band is on the road now with 13 shows still to go in 2017 and will get right back to work in January with a 26-date U.S. trek already on the books for the first half of 2018, including two nights at The Fillmore in San Francisco and the Vic Theatre in Chicago.
Whereas previous outings by The Wood Brothers have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, 'One Drop of Truth' dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and recording approaches, treating each song as if it were its own short film. The plaintive, country-folk of "River Takes the Town" gives way to the The Band-esque Americana soul of "Happiness Jones." The stream of consciousness ballad "Strange As It Seems" floats on a cloud of ethereal beauty, standing in stark contrast to "Sky High"—a Saturday night barnburner built upon stinging slide guitar funk. "Seasick Emotions" is rife with emotional turmoil, yet "Sparkling Wine" is jaunty and carefree. The end result is undeniably The Wood Brothers' most dynamic recording to date.
"Often, when you're making an album in the traditional way, there will be a unifying concept, whether that be in the approach to the music stylistically or in terms of the overall narrative lyrically. And even though there are some themes that revealed themselves later, this one is all over the place," explains Oliver Wood. "What I really love about this record is that each one of these songs has its own little world. There are diverse sounds and vibes from one track to the next."
Building off the success of their previous studio album, 2015's 'Paradise,' and 2017's live release, 'Live At the Barn,' recorded at Levon Helm's Barn, The Wood Brothers found themselves at a fortuitous crossroads. Following a tour with Tedeschi Trucks Band, high profile festival dates and sold out headline shows, the band felt free from the cyclical album release, tour, write, record and do-it-all-over-again pressures. With all three members living in Nashville affording easy access to each other and a wealth of local independent studios at their disposal, they started work in January of 2017 with a new approach.
"Instead of going into one studio and recording it all at the same time, we picked a couple studios, and started to experiment," says Chris Wood. "Sometimes we’d just make demos of songs to see if we got anything we liked. There was no pressure, and that really freed us up. We just did one or two songs a day, put it aside, let the songs simmer, and then we’d have a fresh perspective on what was working or not working. You need time to go by to gain objectivity."
The band extended this approach to the mixing process, sending tracks to four different mixing engineers, each selected based on what the song demanded. Scotty Hard (who's worked extensively with Medeski Martin & Wood, among others) was recruited for the "edgier, funkier tunes," "Sky High" and "Happiness Jones." Mike Poole (who worked on The Wood Brothers album 'The Muse') mixed "Sparkling Wine" and "Strange As It Seems." Their old friend Brandon Belle from Zac Brown's Southern Ground studio took on "Laughin' Or Crying." The remainder of the album was mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Trina Shoemaker, especially sought after by The Wood Brothers for her work with Brandi Carlile.
"It's the freest album we've done, the most independent album we've done, and was the most fun we've ever had making a record," says Oliver Wood. "And most importantly, this is the most purely Wood Brothers' album we've ever made."
Fittingly titled, 'One Drop of Truth,' the latest entry in The Wood Brothers evolution finds three musicians being true to themselves. At a point in their career where most artists would be looking to strategically position themselves for even greater commercial success, they instead turned to artistic expression in service of the muse. In chaotic times when honesty is in short supply and ulterior motives seem to always be at play, The Wood Brothers put faith in themselves and ultimately their audience by writing and recording a collection of songs that are honest and pure. As they sing on the album's title track: "Rather die hungry / than feasting on lies / Give me one drop of truth / I cannot deny."
THE WOOD BROTHERS Tour Schedule
Nov. 17 - Hickory, NC - Music In The Mill (sold out)
Nov. 28 - Jackson, WY - Center for the Arts
Nov. 29 - Salt Lake City, UT - The State Room (sold out)
Dec. 1 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
Dec. 2 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater
Dec. 4 - Kansas City, MO - The Truman
Dec. 5 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom
Dec. 6 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
Dec. 7 - Austin, TX - Paramount Theatre
Dec. 9 - San Antonio, TX - Empire Theatre
Dec. 10 - Houston, TX- White Oak Music Hall
Dec. 11 - Baton Rouge, LA - Varsity Theatre
Dec. 12 - Lafayette, LA - Acadiana Center for the Arts (sold out)
Jan. 25 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theatre
Jan. 26 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre
Jan. 28 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
Jan. 30 - Albany, NY - The Egg
Jan. 31 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
Feb. 2 - Portland, ME - State Theatre
Feb. 3 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
Feb. 9 - Miami Beach, FL - Groundup Music Festival
Feb. 21 - Phoenix, AZ - MIM Music Theater
Feb. 22 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up
Feb. 23 - Los Angeles, CA - Fonda Theatre
Feb. 24 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
Feb. 25 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
Feb. 27 - Arcata, CA - Kate Buchanan Room
Feb. 28 - Ashland, OR - Southern Oregon University
Mar. 1 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
Mar. 2 - Seattle, WA - Neptune
Apr. 11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
Apr. 12 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre
Apr. 13 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
Apr. 14 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
Apr. 15 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
Apr. 17 - Cincinnati, OH - Taft Ballroom
Apr. 18 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark
Apr. 19 - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue
Apr. 20 - Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theater