The Wood Brothers

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The Wood Brothers
The Wood Brothers.jpg
Background information
OriginNew York City
GenresFolk, Blues, Country, Americana
Years active2004–present
LabelsBlue Note (2006-2008)
Southern Ground Records
Associated actsThe Revivalists, Medeski Martin & Wood, King Johnson
MembersOliver Wood
Chris Wood
Jano Rix

The Wood Brothers are an American folk band consisting of brothers Chris (upright bass) and Oliver Wood (acoustic and electric guitars), as well as multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix.


From early in their childhood in Boulder, Colorado, Chris and Oliver were steeped in American roots music. Their father, a molecular biologist, performed classic songs at camp fires and family gatherings, while their mother, a poet, instilled a passion for storytelling and turn of phrase. The brothers bonded over bluesmen such as Jimmy Reed and Lightnin' Hopkins, but their paths, musical and otherwise, would diverge.

Oliver moved to Atlanta, where he played guitar in cover bands before earning a spot in Tinsley Ellis’s touring act. At Ellis’s behest, Oliver began to sing and then founded King Johnson, a hard-touring group that released six albums of blues-inflected R&B, funk and country over the next 12 years. Chris, meanwhile, studied jazz bass at the New England Conservatory of Music, moved to New York City and, in the early 1990s, formed Medeski Martin & Wood (MMW), which over the next two decades would become a cornerstone of contemporary jazz and abstract music.

After pursuing separate musical careers for some 15 years, the brothers performed together at a show in North Carolina on May 24, 2001[1]: Oliver sat in with MMW following King Johnson’s opening set. "I realized we should be playing music together," Chris recalled.[2]

The Wood Brothers performing at 2008 Langerado Music Festival


Soon after, the pair recorded a batch of Oliver’s songs, channeling the shared musical heroes of their youth while seizing on their own individual strengths — Oliver’s songwriting and Chris’s forward-thinking musicianship. A demo landed them a recording contract with Blue Note Records, who released their first studio album Ways Not To Lose in 2006. The album was produced by John Medeski and recorded September 2005 at Allaire Studios in Shokan, New York. Ways Not to Lose was the editors' number one pick in folk for that year,[3] and the album also made NPR's "Overlooked 11" of 2006.

Their follow-up Loaded was released in 2008. The following year they released an EP of covers titled Up Above My Head. In 2011 the band moved recording to Nashville’s Southern Ground Artists for Smoke Ring Halo. In 2012 they released Live Volume One: Sky High and Live Volume Two: Nail & Tooth issued as 2 separate CDs, but in a 2 LP gatefold sleeve on vinyl. In October 2013 the Wood Brothers fifth studio release, The Muse was released with Buddy Miller serving as record producer.

The Muse was recorded at Southern Ground Studios in Nashville. The Wood Brothers are now officially a Nashville-based band, with Oliver having relocated in 2012, and Chris recently following. It was the first time the brothers have lived in the same city since early adulthood.[4] Their follow-up album, Paradise, released in 2015, was the first album in which all three members of the Wood Brothers share songwriting credits, due to the fact they were all living in Nashville and could work together on songs.[4]

On February 2, 2018, The Wood Brothers released their sixth full-length album, One Drop of Truth, that they self-produced and recorded.[5] The album was nominated for the Best Americana Album award at the 61st Grammy Awards.

The group released their eighth studio album, "Kingdom in My Mind" in January 2020. [6]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
US Country
US Heat
US Indie
US Folk
US Rock
Ways Not to Lose
  • Release date: April 1, 2008
  • Label: Blue Note Records
Up Above My Head
(8-song collection of covers)
  • Release date: June 9, 2009
  • Label: Indirecto Records
Smoke Ring Halo
  • Release date: August 2, 2011
  • Label: Southern Ground
The Muse
  • Release date: October 1, 2013
  • Label: Southern Ground
22 145 3 28 10 44
  • Release date: October 2, 2015
  • Label: Honey Jar
12 1 25 6 43
One Drop of Truth
  • Release date: February 2, 2018
  • Label: Honey Jar
41 1 9 11
Kingdom in My Mind
  • Release date: January 24, 2020
  • Label: Honey Jar/Thirty Tigers
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
US Country[7]
Live at Tonic EP
  • Release date: 2005
  • Label: Junketboy
Live: Volume One: Sky High
  • Release date: May 8, 2012
  • Label: Southern Ground
Live: Volume Two: Nail and Tooth
  • Release date: August 12, 2012
  • Label: Southern Ground
Live at the Barn
  • Release date: January 13, 2017
  • Label: Honey Jar
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  1. ^ Greenhaus, Mike Relix
  2. ^ "Wood Brothers - Interview & Music". Americana Music Show. 2013-10-14. Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  3. ^ "Best of 2006: Editors' Picks in Folk". Retrieved 2013-11-23.
  4. ^ a b from an interview with Oliver Wood on the Americana Music Show #276, published December 8, 2015
  5. ^ Oshinsky, Matthew (November 16, 2017). "Exclusive: The Wood Brothers Announce New Album One Drop of Truth, Share First Single". Paste Magazine.
  6. ^ "The Wood Brothers Return With Groove-Driven New Song 'Alabaster'". RollingStone Magazine. 2019-10-24.
  7. ^ a b "The Wood Brothers Chart History (Top Country Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  8. ^ "The Wood Brothers Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  9. ^ "The Wood Brothers Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard.
  10. ^ "The Wood Brothers Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard.
  11. ^ "The Wood Brothers Chart History (Americana/Folk Albums)". Billboard.
  12. ^ "The Wood Brothers Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard.
  13. ^ Bjorke, Matt (October 12, 2015). "Top 10 Country Albums Chart: October 12, 2015". Roughstock.
  14. ^ Bjorke, Matt (February 20, 2018). "Top 10 Country Album Sales Chart: February 19, 2018". Roughstock. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  15. ^ Bjorke, Matt (February 25, 2020). "Top 10 Country Albums Chart in Pure Sales: February 24, 2020". Roughstock.

External links[edit]