The Wood Brothers have released "Cry Over Nothing" (listen/share)—the second single from the Nashville-based trio's forthcoming studio album, 'Kingdom In My Mind'—due January 24 on Honey Jar/Thirty Tigers. Premiered by Garden & Gun, the song's release is accompanied by the addition of 18 shows to the band's extensive 2020 U.S. tour, including headline performances at Fox Theater in Oakland, The Regent in Los Angeles, Riviera Theatre in Chicago, three nights at The Orange Peel in Asheville and two nights at The Bijou Theatre in Knoxville. Tickets for the newly announced dates go on-sale this morning (Fri. Nov. 15 - 10am local).
'Kingdom In My Mind' was recorded over a series of freewheeling, improvised sessions, ultimately resulting in The Wood Brothers' most spontaneous and experimental work yet. On past albums, the band—brothers Oliver and Chris Wood and Jano Rix—would write a batch of songs and then deliberately set out to record them, but for this latest effort, they began the process without even realizing it. At the time, they thought they were simply breaking in their new Nashville recording studio/rehearsal space, tracking a series of extended instrumental jam sessions as a way to test drive the facility. However, after listening back, the trio realized there was something undeniably alive and uninhibited in what they captured. So, like a sculptor chipping away at a block of marble, Chris took the sprawling improvisations and carefully chiseled out verses and choruses and bridges and solos until distinctive songs began to take shape. From there, the brothers divvied up the material that spoke to them most, penning lyrics both separately and together as they pondered what it takes to know contentment in our chaotic and confusing world.
"If we had known we were making a record, we probably would have been too self-conscious to play what we played," reflects Chris. "At the time, we just thought we were jamming to break in our new studio, so we felt free to explore all these different ways of playing together without worrying about form or structure. It was liberating."
In its sum, the 11-track collection is a reckoning with circumstance, mortality, and human nature. The material finds strength in accepting what lies beyond our control as it hones in on the bittersweet beauty that underlies doubt and pain and sadness with vivid character studies and unflinching self-examination. While the lyrics dig deep, the arrangements are buoyant and transportive, drawing from a broad sonic and stylistic spectrum.
"We all have these little kingdoms inside of our minds," explains Chris. "And without really planning it out, the songs on this album all ended up exploring that idea in some way or another. They look at the ways we deal with our dreams and our regrets and our fears and our loves. They look at the stories we tell ourselves and the ways we balance the darkness and the light."
The jaunty "Little Bit Sweet," which was born from the band's very first session, learns to appreciate the ups and downs in the circle of life, while the soulful "Cry Over Nothing" (listen/share) and hypnotic "Little Blue" playfully meditate on ego and perspective, and the funky "Little Bit Broken" celebrates the imperfections that make us human. Tracks like the bluesy "A Dream's A Dream" and hypnotic "Don’t Think About My Death," grapple with separating truth from fiction, ultimately coming to terms with the fact that our brains will always find new ways to blur those lines. Though the album advocates for acceptance, it's not a passive brand The Wood Brothers sing about, but rather one rooted in strength and empowerment. To understand exactly what that means, look no further than album opener "Alabaster" (listen/share) which paints a deeply empathetic portrait of a woman who's broken free from the shackles of her old life and started over fresh.
'Kingdom In My Mind' follows The Wood Brothers' most recent studio release, 2018's 'One Drop Of Truth,' which hit #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and garnered the band their first GRAMMY Award-nomination for "Best Americana Album." NPR praised the record's “unexpected changes and kaleidoscopic array of influences," while Uncut hailed its "virtuosic performances and subtly evocative lyrics," and Blurt proclaimed it "a career-defining album." The record racked up roughly 8 million streams on Spotify alone, and the band took the album on the road for extensive tour dates in the US and Europe, including their first-ever headline performance at Red Rocks, two nights at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore (captured on their 2019 release, 'Live At The Fillmore'), and festival appearances everywhere from Bonnaroo to XPoNential.
***Just Announced Shows In Bold
11/15 - Madison, WI - Barrymore Theatre ^ (Sold Out)
11/16 - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue ^ (Sold Out)
11/18 - Old Saybrook, CT - Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
12/3 - Baton Rouge, LA - Manship Theatre ^^ (Sold Out)
12/4 - Houston, TX - The Heights Theater ^^
12/5 - Austin, TX - Paramount Theatre ^^
12/6 - Dallas, TX - The Kessler Theater ^^ (Sold Out)
12/7 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom ^^
12/9 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown ^^
12/11 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up Aspen ^^ (Sold Out)
12/12 - Steamboat Springs, CO - Strings Music Festival
12/13 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater ^^
12/14 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater ^^
12/15 - Breckenridge, CO - Riverwalk Center ^^
1/29 - Baltimore, MD - Ram's Head Live
1/30 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
1/31 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
2/1 - Philadelphia, PA - The Fillmore
2/3 - Toronto, Canada - Mod Club Theatre
2/5 - Rochester, NY - Kodak Center
2/6 - Burlington, VT - Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
2/7 - New Haven, CT - College Street Music Hall
2/8 - Albany, NY - Palace Theatre
2/9 - State College, PA - The State Theatre
2/11 - McKees Rocks, PA - Roxian Theatre
2/12 - Richmond, VA - The National
2/13 - Chattanooga, TN - Walker Theatre
2/14 - Nashville, TN - The Ryman
2/27 - 3/1 - Punta Cana, DR - Avett Brothers at the Beach (Sold Out)
3/4 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom
3/5 - Los Angeles, CA - The Regent
3/6 - Santa Barbara, CA - Campbell Hall
3/7 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
3/8 - Eureka, CA - Arkley Center for the Performing Arts
3/10 - Eugene, OR - McDonald Theater
*3/11 - Kirkland, WA - Kirkland Performance Center
3/12 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
3/13 - Vancouver, BC - Imperial
4/2 - Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theatre
4/3 - Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theatre
4/4 - Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre
4/5 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theatre
4/7 - Detroit, MI - Majestic Theatre
4/8 - Columbus, OH - Southern Theatre
4/9 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
4/10 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
4/11 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
^ w/ Nicole Atkins
^^ w/ Katie Pruittw