Woody Pines will perform Thursday, September 10 at Tres Hombres with Gentle Ben supporting. The show
Woody Pines will perform Thursday, September 10 at Tres Hombres with Gentle Ben supporting. The show is part of the CarbondaleRocks Revival festival.
Woody Pines is a swoon-worthy troubadour who sounds as sweet and lush as a root-beer float and as homey as a beaten old front porch in Alto Pass on a warm fall evening. Woody describes his music as “Down-home swing. It’s a juke-joint house party feel with little bit storytelling.”
The musical roots of Woody Pines go all the way back to New Orleans circa 1998, where he went to school and performed with the Kitchen Syncopators. After school Woody packed up to Ohio, where he released his first solo album, Rags to Riches, in 2006. There have been nine releases and two relocations since Rags to Riches. Woody Pines now takes up residence in Nashville, Tennessee.
Woody Pines is currently touring in support of his tenth album, a self-titled affair, which Muddy Roots Records released in May. Stream it online at <http//www.WoodyPines.com>. The tour started off overseas and is wrapping up in the States.
Nightlife caught up with him on a short tour break for an enlightening and inspiring interview.
When did you start playing music?
I started out when I was five, playing homemade drums and homemade string instruments and harmonica.
How did you decide on the name Woody Pines?
Me and my pals in high school were into all the old blues guys who had pseudonyms. I had a hard time coming up with one until someone said, “You already have a great name, Woody!” Pines just sort of fell from the sky.
How has the Nashville scene treated you?
The Nashville scene has been really supportive. It’s great to come home from a tour and be able to go out and see great live music any night of the week. It’s also great to be around so many great performers all the time. When you’re from a small town, you feel like an outcast because music is so important to you and you think you’re the only one. Then when you move to Nashville, everyone around you is working hard in the music world and you feel like you’ve found your people.
So you started off busking and took off from there? Is that a common way to get started in Nashville?
I don’t think so much in Nashville. But when I was in New Orleans it seemed liked everyone paid their dues playing on the streets. Then you’d see them in the clubs, and if that didn’t kill them you’d [see] bands take off. Bands like the Deslondes, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns, the Loose Marbles, Cory Harris, Madeleine Peyroux, people who are touring the world now were all playing in the streets of New Orleans.
What changed while you were busking to get you on the path of touring and signing with Muddy Roots?
Nothing, really. Maybe planning. You have to plan ahead to do a tour. When you busk, you stick your head out the door and say, “It’s a nice day. Let’s make some music.”
You have one self-titled release on Muddy Roots. What does that album mean to you?
I wanted to make the album have the energy of the live show, but also have a big acoustic sound. I also wanted put the new songs I’ve written with Felix Hatfield on the record. We have cowritten songs together for years and he is a big part of my life. The new album has a few traditional folk songs on there as well. These are important because American roots and traditional music is our music after all, and it’s our job to keep them growing and evolving
Do you have any new recordings in the works?
While on tour, we’ve been posting bootleg recordings of live shows we get from radio stations and sound guys. I’m mostly touring the new album now, but starting to write some new tunes that I hope will be on the next album.
You have the Muddy Roots Music Festival coming up. What is that all about?
Muddy Roots Festival, yes! Looking forward to that all year. It’s gonna be a great lineup this year as well. People come from all over the world to be part of this punk/roots/bluegrass/country/folk festival. The organizers are really forward-thinking to put all these bands together in one festival.
How has the tour been going? Are there any highlights we should know of?
So far, so good. We just got a new, bigger van, so now have room for a few more friends and musicians. It’s fun to travel with a good crew of people.
This year so far I have played a show on a boat in Martha’s Vineyard, a train in Tennessee, and a cave 333 feet underground at the Bluegrass Underground.
We started the year off with four weeks in the U.K., Ireland, and Germany. We released the album overseas first and sold out six or seven shows over there. Already, we have next march booked in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, and I just got a request today about coming to Belgium and the Netherlands, so it’s pretty exciting.
Who are some of your major influences who do not at all sound like how you sound?
Harry Houdini and Mark Twain.
What is it about music that makes you want to play?
Music is like food— you can’t eat it, but it feeds you.
What are some major themes of your songwriting?
The continuing adventures of characters from the American folk world, hobos, and alligators. Love, death, and small-town dynasties.
If you were incapable of playing music, what do you think you would do instead?
Who in your opinion is the worst musical artist in the world?
Someone who is making music they don’t like for money.
Someone who is making music they love for no money.
Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
Keep at it and follow your heart no matter what. If you have two hearts, then... I don’t know what to do.
who: Woody Pines / Gentle Ben
what: CarbondaleRocks Revival (jazz, Americana)
where: Tres Hombres
when: Thursday, September 10