Oliver Wood of the Wood Brothers - An Adventure with Musical Greats, Independence, and Creative Freedom

Ep.070 Cover Oliver Wood of the Wood Brothers

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Get ready to embark on a beautiful creative adventure. One of the things I preach the most is the Malcolm Gladwell theory of 10,000 hours. If you’re fully present, and dedicate 10,000 hours of your time into something, you’ll reach a level of greatness. When I first started the podcast, it was a 90 day experiment that turned into a passion, and maybe one could say I finally found my lane. Now, I’m trying to hit my 10,000 hours as quickly as possible as a podcaster, teacher, mentor, and public speaker. When it comes to songwriting and music, I always teach my students that they should be investing as many hours as they can on improving their craft, and to collaborate with others that will help elevate their skill as a musician and songwriter. This week, I launched a new group project where students get chosen at random to spend a week with a group of 4 to 5 people as writing partners and come up with an original song. This was a project inspired by Oliver Wood. When I think of Oliver, I think of someone that has been on a creative adventure of music as musician and songwriter. His journey and stories are a tale of greatness.

Oliver Wood is one of the founders of The Wood Brothers, along with his brother, Chris Wood. After several years on their own path, they discovered their musical bond and have been on a wonderful journey ever since their first release in 2006. On February 2nd, 2018, The Wood Brothers are releasing their sixth album ‘One Drop of Truth,’ which dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles, and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing trio featuring brothers Oliver and Chris Wood along with Jano Rix treat each song as if it were its own short film. The plaintive, country-folk of the album’s opening track “River Takes The Town” gives way to The Band-esque Americana soul of “Happiness Jones.” The stream of consciousness ballad “Strange As It Seems” floats on a cloud of ethereal beauty, standing in stark contrast to “Sky High”—a Saturday night barnburner built upon stinging slide guitar funk. “Seasick Emotions” is rife with emotional turmoil, yet “Sparkling Wine” is jaunty and carefree. The end result is undeniably The Wood Brothers’ most dynamic recording to date.

In this conversation, Oliver Wood discusses the new album, along with some stories of his mentor Tinsley Ellis, his father, and advice for aspiring musicians and songwriters. Oliver Wood has had such a wonderful career, and in this episode, he shares some of his stories and lessons from those adventures.  

Get the new album "One Drop of Truth"

Highlights from this Episode
[3:06] Musical Influences and New Orleans Music
[4:32] Making of the New Album “One Drop of Truth”
[7:40] What Oliver is most excited about with the new album
[8:37] Self Producing Albums
[11:40] If he were creating a Music Business program for Songwriters
[17:38] Being mentored and learning the business with Tinsley Ellis
[19:26] The moments that inspired The Wood Brothers
[23:38] Lesson that took Oliver the longest to learn

Quotes from Oliver Wood
“Put yourself in it 100%, and don’t compromise things.”
“Get your pure idea recorded.”
“Half of it is just a motivation thing and a confidence thing, or lack thereof. And you just have to overcome that.”
“You learn things by doing them.”
“Write songs, and write a lot of them. And listen to songs, listen to a lot of them.”
“There has to be something that promotes individuality.”
“Students need to be encouraged to find their own voice.”
“Group projects are great, because we learn from each other.”
“Just stay in the moment and don’t worry about things. Especially when it comes to music.”
“The best part is made when you’re not thinking about anything.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned
The Wood Brothers
Stevie Wonder
Tinsley Ellis
Freddie King
Derek Trucks
Chris Wood
Medeski, Martin, and Wood
Blue Note Records
Norah Jones
Zac Brown
Thirty Tigers

Oliver Wood’s Definition of Making It:
“If you’re doing what you love, you’ve made it.”

Get in touch with The Wood Brothers

Go See The Wood Brothers Live
Upcoming 2018 Tour Dates:

Jan. 25 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theatre
Jan. 26 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre
Jan. 27 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre
Jan. 28 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
Jan. 30 - Albany, NY - The Egg
Jan. 31 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
Feb. 1 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
Feb. 2 - Portland, ME - State Theatre
Feb. 3 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
Feb. 9 - Miami Beach, FL - Groundup Music Festival
Feb. 21 - Phoenix, AZ - MIM Music Theater
Feb. 22 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up
Feb. 23 - Los Angeles, CA - Fonda Theatre
Feb. 24 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
Feb. 25 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
Feb. 27 - Arcata, CA - Kate Buchanan Room
Feb. 28 - Ashland, OR - Southern Oregon University
Mar. 1 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
Mar. 2 - Seattle, WA - Neptune
Mar. 3 - Seattle, WA - Neptune
Mar. 15 - Birmingham, AL - Iron City
Mar. 16 - Chattanooga, TN - Robert Kirk Walker Theatre
Mar. 17 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
Apr. 11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
Apr. 12 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre
Apr. 13 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
Apr. 14 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
Apr. 15 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
Apr. 17 - Cincinnati, OH - Taft Ballroom
Apr. 18 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark
Apr. 19 - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue
Apr. 20 - Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theater
Apr. 21 - Brevard, NC - Songsmith Gathering
Apr. 22 - Charlotte, NC - Tuck Fest
May 25 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
May 27 - Cumberland, MD - DelFest

Get all the info and tickets here.