New Music Tuesday: The Wood Brothers – Kingdom in My Mind [Album]


Over the last dozen years or so that I have been listening to music with the intent of putting words to digital pages, I have had the great fortune to cover multiple releases from artists that I adore. It’s pretty great. Who doesn’t get ecstatic about hearing a new record from one of their favorite artists? It’s arguably more exciting than hearing a brand new artist and unknowingly falling in love with them. Sure those early days are exciting, but when the ones you already know and love have some new and incredible to share, it’s pretty damn great as well. But there is a conundrum that needs to be addressed when it comes to music reviews. It’s not really a terrible issue, but it is an issue nonetheless. And that would be, if a band creates an album that is so good, and evokes so many feelings and emotions and the yearning to make so many bold statements about how much you love this work and may consider it their “best work to date”, and then you realize… said the same thing about the LAST album they put out. Almost verbatim, actually. And that is the proverbial pickle I have found myself in listening to the absolutely incredible album Kingdom In My Mind from the beloved modern blues/folk rock heroes The Wood Brothers.

One thing I tend to do when I am gearing up to write about another album from an artist or group that I have already showcased here at TWS is to go back and read the last review I did. In this case, it has been two years (almost to the date!) since I talked about The Wood Brothers’s previous album One Drop of Truth. And lo and behold, I believe I could have probably done a copy & paste, and just changed album and song titles, and it would have all been true. Now, I obviously don’t mean this in a derogatory sense, I hope you that isn’t your takeaway, as it would mean you never read my previous review, and why would you not have done that? No, the issue is that a band like The Wood Brothers is ever evolving, bettering themselves, yet holding onto the elements of their own personal sound that have and will continue to make them so wonderful. Their ability genuinely infuse blues, rock, and folk music that interwinds with just about absolute perfection in such a manner that you can’t help but be impressed is absolutely beautiful. And the storytelling. Oh, the fucking storytelling! It’s truly phenomenal. And yes, I have said these same things in one form or another in a previous review, but the more I think about it, the less I care. The honor of knowing and enjoying a band that continues to evolve in the way that The Wood Brothers is an absolute delight and I refuse to feel any sort of guilt about enjoying a band that has a common trait of continuously taking their signature sound, and just making it better with each release. These cats are phenomenal, and Kingdom In My Mind is a phenomenal album.




Now, while I did spend quite a bit of time explaining how I don’t entirely care about repeating some information, I do feel like my obsession with providing something new to the solid few readers who are here come hell or high water. I mentioned in my last Wood Brothers that I had the opportunity to see the band at Pickathon out in Happy Valley, Oregon in 2012 and it was incredible. But just to throw out a little bit of a fun fact: this was actually the second time I had seen drummer Jano Rix live. About 4 years prior, I first saw Jano flicking the sticks for The Gabe Dixon Band at Berbati’s Pan in Portland, Oregon, and was in love with his work from that day forward and was so excited to see him performing in this new Americana element that seems to fit him so damn well. And for regular readers, you will recognize the name Gabe Dixon form either his incredible solo work, or the fact that he is also a past interviewee guest here at TWS. And even more inside baseball knowledge for you: The Gabe Dixon Band was opening for none other than another prior TWS interview subject, the great Justin Nozuka. Isn’t it fun how everything can tie into a coincidental spider web of wonderful talent? There. I feel better, I gave you something a bit different for that proverbial ass.

But in all seriousness, Folks, Kingdom in My Mind is an absolutely amazing batch of songs that tell an incredible story of love, power, and the beauty of new beginnings. And while it’s damn near impossible to choose a favorite track, if hard pressed I would choose “Don’t Think About My Death” simply because it fuses just about every genre of music that is damn near imaginable, and is a prime example of how The Wood Brothers can really just do it all. Primarily it may be more rock n roll centric track, it’s as soulful and gospel like as you could really want. It’s a perfect track, on a pretty much perfect album. And I simply cannot recommend this gem of an album enough. It’s so damn good.


Kingdom In My Mind is available now wherever you purchase or stream music (please consider the purchase idea). The Wood Brothers will be partaking in an extensive North American (and Dominican Republic) tour starting January 29th.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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