While country music has long been a staple of the Texas music scene, its sister genre bluegrass has not enjoyed similar success in the state. Thats all changing these days thanks to Austin’s vibrant bluegrass scene, and a local band named Wood & Wire are leading the charge. Thanks to their late-2014 release The Woodshed Sessions, Vol. 1, the band seems well on their way to national fame.
While the band members do not consider themselves to be solely influenced by the bluegrass genre, each member brings their own influences into the picture. While solidly bluegrass, their music carries hints of rock and country too, making the band feel like they have a strong handle on song structure and form.
Wood & Wire formed in 2013 and soon thereafter released a self-titled album. While most bands are slow to climb the industry ladder, particularly in a niche genre, Wood & Wire’s ascent to national recognition has been fairly quick. In their short two years together, the group has opened for the Mountain Yonder String Band, performed at the local Old Settler’s Festival, and made an appearance at the Bluegrass Telluride Festival.
The Woodshed Sessions, Vol. 1 opens with “True Life Blues,” a true bluegrass release from start to finish. On this track, the harmonies and structure are sharp and well constructed, making for a memorable and likeable tune. “I Only Exist,” the record’s next track, is a slower tune that speaks about getting over a broken heart as the narrator wonders how long they can go on feeling that way. While the tune introduces brief influences from country, the track feels very raw and relatable, making the song stand out among the album’s other cuts. The Woodshed Sessions, Vol. 1 closes with “Stone Walls & Steel Bars,” a wonderful song that shows off the vocal ability of guitarist Tony Kamel, whose rich and textured voice gives the music a vibrant feel.
While the album is a short one, clocking in at only sixteen minutes, the music extremely high quality. Armed with such melodic and lyrical talent, Wood & Wire will be successful — not only in Austin, but around the country too.
You can listen to the record’s opening song “True Life Blues” below.