Oliver Wood of the Wood Brothers on Shuitars, Molecular Biology, and Sunshine Blues
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The band hits the road until the end of March, at which point it'll head back into the studio to record album number five. We spoke with guitarist Oliver Wood, one-third of blues/folk trio, about a gig at the inaugural run of Sunshine Blues Festival this week, how technology seems to keep the songwriting process going for them, and what that funny-looking acoustic guitar contraption is on their stage.
New Times: You're kicking off three months of touring with three days on the Sunshine Blues Festival, but you typically play smaller stages with more intimate environments like the Kent Stage in Ohio, for instance. Do you achieve something different by playing a festival setting? Do you prefer a more intimate show over a festival atmosphere?
Oliver Wood: It is nice to be able to play those smaller shows. Like you said, it is more intimate and as far as the sound goes, you can get away with subtleties that you couldn't get away with in a festival setting. Then again, when you play a show in a bar, you're not always guaranteed a captive audience. With a festival, everyone is there to see music. In a bigger setting, we are able to be a bit more rockin', which is fun. Every now and then it's nice to rock out these songs that are usually a bit more contained. They both have their perks. Being able to play both is really the best thing for us because it mixes things up.
Anyone playing at the Sunshine Blues Festival that you are interested in seeing play? Anyone you haven't met that you're interested in meeting?
Tedeschi Trucks Band we've known for about twenty years, so it's nice to be able to hang out with them for a few days. I always love watching them. Dr. John is another good one. That's what is great about these things, you get to hang out with people you otherwise never get to see because we're all so busy.
Three months on the road, aside from playing the shows you're scheduled for, is there a place or landmark you look forward to swinging by along the way? Does traveling come easy to you or do you have coping mechanisms for extended periods of travel?
Well it's ten days on and ten days off, which makes it easier for us because we have families back home. Traveling is something you become used to after a while. It becomes a way of life, so it's never too boring or too stressful. You kind of learn to just maintain.
When there's downtime before a show, we definitely try to get some sightseeing in. We've come to really like the West Coast. We're playing shows out west on the second half of the tour and the scene out there is always fun. San Francisco, Portland, Seattle. Those places are always so cool.
There's a huge trade off with touring, but it's something we love to do. We struggle with missing our families, so if there's anything about touring that gets us, it would be that we miss home. There's a balance you've got to find.