Colorado Bluegrass & Americana Band Wood Belly Release “Play Me Out,” the First Single with Their Expanded 5-Piece Lineup

Article Contributed by Americana Vibes | Published on Friday, July 21, 2023

Colorado-based bluegrass & Americana quintet Wood Belly have released “Play Me Out,” a brand new single that celebrates a  new chapter of an expanded lineup with the additions of drummer Dylan French and bassist & vocalist Brennan Mackey. Available today via Americana Vibes, the track is the first studio material to be unveiled with the new lineup with more to come over the course of 2023 and beyond.

“Play Me Out” signifies the range of emotions and spiraling thoughts of a past lover showing up to a party with somebody new. Branching out beyond the lyrics, it’s a sonic representation of harkening back to familiar roots while reaping momentum to push forward in a new direction mirroring Wood Belly’s trajectory. The band explains, “It’s a song that has one foot in the past and one in the present. Heartache set to fast-paced happy-sounding music has been a persistent theme in bluegrass. This modern version of the story takes place at a party when your ex shows up with someone new, yet it’s got party anthem vibes throughout. Musically it bridges a similar gap. There is driving banjo and great trio singing, but it also features drums, a modern chord progression, and a non-traditional singer.  It also sums up the story of the band. Until now Wood Belly had been a string band, and this is the first step in a new direction."

Wood Belly garnered both local and touring circuit attention by winning the 2018 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition and a nomination at the 2018 IBMA Momentum Awards. The new additions in the rhythm section accentuate their unrelenting dedication to original songwriting, prowess for harmony, and artful arrangements that delve through new grass, alt-country, rock, and improvisational music. Both French and Mackey are veterans on the scene with French having a reputation for versatility and adaptability performing with the likes of Kaepora, Boogie Mammoth, and more, and Mackey as a staple in the Colorado music scene with his sought-after indie-rock project King Cardinal. They join guitarist Chris Weist, dobroist & lap steel guitarist Chris Zink, and banjoist & guitarist Aaron McCloskey to form a well-rounded, musically telepathic 5-piece ensemble poised for a new chapter and a plethora of new material.

Speaking to their innovative sound, Bluegrass Today has expressed, “Even now, it’s safe to determine that they’re ones to watch...the freshness and vitality they bear elevates their standing and assures their status as instant contenders.”

Wood Belly will support the release of “Play Me Out” with a handful of tour dates that include:

July 28: Copper Creek Square - Winter Park, CO

August 4: The Mishawaka - Bellvue, CO (supporting The Infamous Stringdusters)

August 10: Beanstalk Music Festival - Bond, CO

August 17: Tetonia Club - Tetonia, ID

August 18: Creekside Revival - Livingston, MT

August 26: Fort Uncompahgre Interpretive Center + Public Lands - Delta, CO

September 23: Home Grown Gorge - Skamania, WA

October 5: Huck Finn Jubilee - San Dimas, CA