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The Wood Brothers Give Toronto a Taste of The Southern Rockies

Originally Published by

Martyr Magazine - July 14 2012

“I’m having the best beer of my life. I don’t know what it is but I’m moving to Canada.”

Though this mid show epiphany probably won’t result in seeing the mixed roots siblings holed up somewhere in the Toronto anytime soon, it’s safe to say The Wood Brothers are welcome on Canadian soil anytime.


Originally growing up in Boulder, Colorado, the Wood Brothers, Oliver and Chris, came to Toronto’s Hugh’s Room, June 25 to support World Literacy Canada’s Satya Concert Series.

Hosted by musician turned Member of Parliament, Andrew Cash the event brought together dedicated musicians and their followers as a fundraiser to support the World Literacy foundation.

Taking the stage after opener Chris Assaad, the brothers and percussionist Jano Rix launched into covers and traditional pieces featured on their new live album, Volume One: Sky High to Wood Brother’s staples such as “Where My Baby Might Be.”

With the crowd warmed up, the two brothers hit a very personal note with the introduction to “Lovin’ Arms”. “This was written about our mum”. No stranger to how wonderfully poignant, vague and heartbreaking this song can be, as a regular on my playlists, even I felt a whole new level of intense warmth when hearing it live.

With percussive guitar and upright bass combined with mashed up rhythm, their sound comes across as if a hootenanny side stepped into a jazz club that got high jacked by a pots and pan blues band.

This genre-crossing is really what makes up The Wood Brothers live show and what they claim makes up Americana musical culture.

“To have all those things from music that we can draw from with our own experience and try to make new combinations,” said Oliver just after eating a post show dinner above the venue.

“It’s fun to go back to the roots of things and then go back even farther and really see where things come from. Then you can add another level of your understanding of the general concept of Americana which has such a vast foundation”

The Wood Brothers jumped from one genre to the next but never losing their crowd with diehard fans scattered throughout the set, enthusiastically singing along to “Postcards From Hell.”

Although there’s no blood relation between the brothers and Jano Rix the percussionist’s sentimental placement in the group whether on drums or vocals was undeniably cohesive.

A standing ovation to the end their set, they invited Chris Assaad and Andrew Cash on stage for their encore. Add another standing ovation and the night finally came to a close.

Looking at The Wood Brothers reaction to Canadian breweries, the crowd’s reaction to the band and the fact this has been only part of a handful of gigs they have done in the Great White North, one can clearly see there’s enough pull to bring these wandering organic brothers back north.

Filed under the wood brothers hugh's room hughs room toronto rockies martyr magazine world literacy elyse simpson boulder colorado june 25 andrew cash chris assad jano rix oliver wood chris wood lovin arms americana dinner talk one on one volume one sky high where my baby might be postcards from hell standing ovation canadian breweries beer great white north