2

The Wood Brothers: Live Volume Two - Nail & Tooth

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
The Wood Brothers: The Wood Brothers: Live Volume Two - Nail & Tooth The Wood Brothers

Live Volume Two: Nail & Tooth

Southern Ground

2012

While the Wood Brothers presented its live album, Sky High (Southern Ground, 2012), as a document of how its music has evolved since it resumed its partnership in 2004, it really didn't depict the progression as clearly as its successor does. As a companion piece Nail & Tooth illustrates how far the duo has come as collaborators, particularly as percussionist/vocalist Jano Rix has become integrated into the unit.

Short as it is, "Up Above My Head" sets a deeply earthy emotional tone with the pound of kick drum underpinning the gospel-styled vocal call and response. It's nothing, however, compared to the searing slide electric guitar Oliver Wood lets loose; Rix's smashing of his drum kit matches the cacophony which is all the more uproarious after the bittersweet harmonica and carefully placed bass figures from Chris Wood (which continue below the joyful noise).

This onslaught is a far cry from the understated charm of the Woods' work as a duo, as so effectively depicted by the wholly acoustic textures within "When I Was Young." If there's a criticism to be offered of the Brothers based on these live albums, especially this second one, it's that the band is immediately ready to render them obsolete, if not in the form of such folksy cuts (which would be ideal fodder for unplugged first sets in concert), than in terms of extended improvisation. There's no denying the swagger within "Spirit," but it's so slyly infectious, and its slightly-less-than four minutes goes by so fast, this track only whets the appetite for more, especially as the entrance of jagged electric tones turns the track in a wholly different direction the likes of which the band might pursue at length in its next stage of evolution.

Oliver Wood's singing is evocative no matter the style of song, so to hear him extemporize with his voice would be as seductive as when he's chortling out loud while the three musicians careen through "Shoofly Pie." The crowd pleasing gestures here might be purely precious if, again, the vocal interplay was not so potent, here in three-part form. Likewise, on "Ain't No More Cane," there's an emotional fervor in those voices indicating the trio are moving itself as well as its audience. the individual vocal turns here are, no doubt, also meant to deliberately echo those of The Band, as the contrasting tones of each voice compares favorably to Rick Danko, Richard Manual and Levon Helm, all of which is in keeping with the dedication of Nail & Tooth to the memory of the late drummer/vocalist.

There's clearly a logic to The Wood Brothers' production of this pair of live albums and it's nowhere more evident that the placement of that traditional. Its definition of bittersweet precedes a chirpy version of Allen Toussaint's "Get Out of My Life Woman" which, in itself and in contrast, illustrates how expert songwriting and performing uncovers emotions far beyond just those rendered by the words and music. The instrumental interval within that performance cements the otherwise ineffable impression.

Then, as if to remind of their own compositional expertise, "Atlas" concludes Nail & Tooth, its high-stepping beat confirming the authors as musical bon vivants who, by dint of the cauterizing slide guitar, know the blues both hurt and heal.

Tracks: Up Above My Head; Where My Baby Might Be; When I Was Young; Spirit; Shoofly Pie; Ain't No More Cane; Get Out My Life Woman; Atlas.

Personnel: Oliver Wood: guitar, vocals; Chris Wood: bass, harmonica, vocals; Jano Rix: drums, melodica, vocals; Clay Cook: lap steel, vocals (8).

Track Listing: Up Above My Head; Where My Baby Might Be; When I Was Young; Spirit; Shoofly Pie; Ain’t No More Cane; Get Out My Life Woman; Atlas.

Personnel: Oliver Wood: guitar, vocals; Chris Wood: bass, harmonica, vocals; Jano Rix: drums, melodica, vocals; Clay Cook: lap steel, vocals (8).

Title: The Wood Brothers: Live Volume Two - Nail & Tooth | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Southern Ground


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition Extended Analysis Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read Grateful Dead: Cornell '77 Extended Analysis Grateful Dead: Cornell '77
by Doug Collette
Published: May 6, 2017
Read Chick Corea: The Musician Extended Analysis Chick Corea: The Musician
by John Kelman
Published: May 2, 2017
Read Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For A Centennial Extended Analysis Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For A Centennial
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "The Rascals: The Complete Singles A's & B's" Extended Analysis The Rascals: The Complete Singles A's & B's
by Doug Collette
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "John Scofield: Country for Old Men" Extended Analysis John Scofield: Country for Old Men
by John Kelman
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Levin Minnemann Rudess: From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess" Extended Analysis Levin Minnemann Rudess: From the Law Offices of Levin...
by John Kelman
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Procol Harum: Novum" Extended Analysis Procol Harum: Novum
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Various Artists: Yugoslavian Space Program" Extended Analysis Various Artists: Yugoslavian Space Program
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: October 29, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.