The Wood Brothers

Ways Not to Lose

Chris Wood (upright bassist for Medeski, Martin & Wood) and his older brother Oliver (on guitar) team up for this debut album by The Wood Brothers. Kenny Wollesen adds some percussion to the down-home sounds of Chris’ upright bass and Oliver’s tasteful guitar work. Reminiscent of good ol’ Appalachian bluegrass, with hints of blues and folk, this CD is sweet and earthy musical poetry. Oliver’s voice is angelic, switching between a saucy growl and a spicy croon. On “Where My Baby Might Be,” the brothers showcase their blues ability, with Oliver singing and sliding around on his guitar while Chris plucks his upright bass with aplomb and simultaneously plays the mouth harp. Oliver keeps the strumming light on “That’s What Angels Can Do,” the song I put on repeat so I could fully absorb its shimmering beauty. This first-time collaboration allows both brothers to shine; they play together with an innate knowingness and never overpower each other. Ways Not to Lose may have been released a few months too early, as it’s the perfect soundtrack to a summer evening spent porch-sitting, sippin’ on sweet tea.