Oliver Wood's New Album 'Fat Cat Silhouette' Out Now

Article Contributed by Calabro Music Media | Published on Friday, June 14, 2024

Oliver Wood—co-founding member of Grammy Award-nominated band The Wood Brothers—has released his second solo album, Fat Cat Silhouette, 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. Fat Cat Silhouette’s release is accompanied by a video for the album’s second track "Whom I Adore," featuring extensive footage from the recording sessions.

Whenever Oliver Wood isn't touring with The Wood Brothers, he typically begins his mornings the same way: in Nashville, at home, with a coffee cup in his hand and a notebook in his lap. Many of the songs from Fat Cat Silhouette began taking shape exactly in that manner. An album of unexpected twists and turns, 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 recording doesn’t spend much time looking backward. Instead, it abandons convention, breaks a few rules, and positions Wood as a roots-music innovator who’s every bit as interested in the process as the product.

​"I wanted to get outside my box and embrace the uncertainty of what's out there," Wood 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 Oliver Wood’s longtime home base, The Studio Nashville, he, Jano Rix and bassist Ted Pecchio embraced left turns. On the album 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 groove 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," explains 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. Oliver Wood is perhaps most celebrated for his acoustic-driven, roots-based soul 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 Rix, are beautiful, 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 perhaps 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 Oliver Wood’s songwriting and vocal chops only growing more confident, empathetic and ultimately consequential with each subsequent outing.

​Oliver Wood remains as busy as ever on the road with The Wood Brothers this summer. He and the band he co-founded with his brother Chris Wood recently set out on one of their biggest summer tours yet, including dates with Little Feat, festival appearances at Borderland Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Targhee Bluegrass Festival, Rocky Mountains Folks Festival and Blissfest Folk & Roots Festival, as well as a run of European shows in August. Wood’s solo trio will also perform three dates in Oregon at the end of June.

Tour Dates

6/28 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater
6/29 - Medford, OR - Roxy Ann Winery
6/30 - Sisters, OR - Big Ponderoo Festival

​Tour Dates

6/14 - Baltimore, MD - Pier Six Pavilion #
6/15 - Accord, NY - Arrowood Farms Brewery * ^
6/16 - Westport, CT - Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts *
6/18 - South Deerfield, MA - Tree House Brewery *
6/19 - Plymouth, MA - Plymouth Memorial Hall *
6/20 - Hartford, CT - Infinity Music Hall
7/12 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Listening Lawn
7/13 - Harbor Springs, MI - Blissfest Folk & Roots Festival
7/14 - Fish Creek, WI - Door Community Auditorium
7/15 - St. Louis Park, MN - The Roc
7/16 - Fargo, ND - Sanctuary Events Center
7/18 - Big Sky, MT - Music In The Mountains
7/19 - Rexford, MT - Abayance Bay Marina
7/20-21 - Vancouver, Canada - Vancouver Folk Festival
7/27 - Novato, CA - Hopmonk Tavern
7/28 - Crystal Bay, NV - Gambler’s Run Music Festival
8/9 - Lyons, CO - Rocky Mountain Folks Festival
8/11 - Alta, WY - Targhee Bluegrass Festival
8/20 - Oslo, Norway - Cosmopolite
8/21 - Stockholm, Sweden - Debaser
8/23-24 - Tonder, Denmark - Tonder Festival
8/26 - Deventer, Netherlands - Burgerweeshuis
8/27 - Eindhoven, Netherlands - Muziekgebouw Eindhoven
8/28 - Leiden, Netherlands - Gehr. De Nobel
9/14 - East Aurora, NY - Borderland Music Festival

# w/ Little Feat
* w/ The Bygones
^ w/ The Lone Bellow