Oliver Wood Announces 'Fat Cat Silhouette' - First Single "Light and Sweet" Out Now

Article Contributed by Calabro Music Media | Published on Thursday, April 25, 2024

Oliver Wood—co-founding member of Grammy Award-nominated roots trio The Wood Brothers—has announced the release of his second solo album, Fat Cat Silhouette, due June 14 on Honey Jar Records / Indirecto Records. The nine-song collection was produced by his Wood Brothers’ bandmate Jano Rix and features a long list of collaborations, including songs co-written with Seth Walker, Sean McConnell and Ric Robertson and guest performances by acclaimed singer/songwriter Katie Pruitt, Los Lobos' Steve Berlin and Marshall Tucker Band's Marcus James Henderson. Today, Wood shares the album’s first single "Light and Sweet" and its accompanying video. (Listen/Watch Here)

"A lot of ideas for songs come to me first thing in the morning, when I'm sitting in a chair by a window with a cup of coffee and a notebook. Sometimes you just need an initial image or situation to get started," says Wood. "In the case of 'Light and Sweet,' it was a bird outside the window, and from there it was just imagining a human-like story for him and how it relates to other scenarios where people just do human things and have human problems and make judgements."

Throughout Fat Cat Silhouette, longtime fans will recognize the earnest, elastic voice that has always anchored The Wood Brothers' mix of forward-looking folk and southern country-funk, but the similarities often end there. Instead, Wood abandons convention, breaks rules, and positions himself as a roots-music innovator.

"I wanted to get outside my box and embrace the uncertainty of what's out there," he explains. "I wanted weird guitar tones. I wanted more percussion and less drums. Once we began experimenting and doing whatever inspired us, the pressure melted away and I felt liberated."

Recorded analog, direct to tape, at Wood's longtime home base, The Studio Nashville, he, Rix and bassist Ted Pecchio embraced left turns. On the album’s aforementioned opener and first single, "Light and Sweet," Wood matches an imaginative storyline with a melody that leaps from ground level into the stratosphere. On "Yo I Surrender," Steve Berlin's baritone saxophone adds a stomp and swagger unlike anything Wood has attempted before. The same holds true for "Whom I Adore," a Mississippi Hill country-inflected number brought to life by Marcus James Henderson on fife. Later, when time constraints prevented Wood and Rix from adding horns to "Star in the Corner," they chose to sing the horn parts instead. Fittingly, the album is brought to a close with "Fortune Drives the Bus," which Wood recorded by himself on an iPhone in his own backyard.

"Making this album was a process of being immediate, making quick decisions, and trusting that the universe and my years of experience would handle the rest,” continues Wood. “We gave ourselves permission to just be artists, rather than being a part of the music business.”

That’s not to say all of Fat Cat Silhouette abandons convention. Wood is perhaps most celebrated for his acoustic-driven, roots-based songwriting with lyrics that stand on their own poetic terms, addressing the innate struggle in the human condition. Songs like "Somebody Blues," co-written with Ric Robertson, "Grab Ahold," co-written with Seth Walker and "Little Worries," co-written with Jano Rix, are beautiful and grounding moments that add poignance to Fat Cat Silhouette. A re-imagination of "Have You No Shame," performed as a duet with Katie Pruitt, and written by Donnie McCormick, one of Wood's mentors from his early years on the Atlanta music scene, is a window into what led him to become the songwriter he is today.

Taken in its sum, Fat Cat Silhouette is an album that finds the art in the unexpected. Yet simultaneously, it highlights Wood’s songwriting and vocal chops only growing more confident, empathetic and ultimately consequential with each subsequent outing.

While Oliver Wood remains as busy as ever on the road with The Wood Brothers, he tours solo this May performing a handful of shows with Langhorne Slim, as well as a few select festival appearances. Additional solo dates will be announced in the coming months.

Track Listing

1. Light and Sweet
2. Whom I Adore
3. Little Worries
4. Grab Ahold
5. Yo I Surrender
6. Somebody Blues
7. Star in the Corner
8. Have You No Shame (Ft. Katie Pruitt)
9. Fortune Drives The Bus

Oliver Wood :: Fat Cat Silhouette
Available Here for Pre-order on Vinyl, CD & Digital