The Wood Brothers

Loaded
(Blue Note Records)

A mix of blues, folk, and acoustic rock with fringes of jazz is what you hear on this new release by the duo of brothers Chris (from Medeski, Martin & Wood) and Oliver Wood, which follows up 2006's Ways Not to Lose. Again under the production of John Medeski, the pair plays an organic set of mostly acoustic tunes — for instance, "Fall to Fast" is a high-energy number that features accomplished bass work from Chris Wood, who seems to draw inspiration from fellow MMW drummer Billy Martin. Oliver Wood sets the tone for the title track with a boozy slide guitar that is fitting for the lyrics about a man apologizing for having mouthed off after drinking too much. The beautiful reggae-inflected tune "Angel" is one of the disc's strongest tracks, thanks to its infectious hook and overall accessible melody — this is sure to become a favorite during their upcoming tour, along with the catchy ballad "Lovin' Arms." Listen also to "Postcards from Hell," a gorgeous folk tune about a traveling bluesman whose soul is not for sale.

 
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