Southern Songs & Stories: Grass That Goes Against the Grain: Wood & Wire

Nov 3, 2020

In 2018, the four piece group Wood & Wire was nominated for a Grammy award for their album North of Despair. Since their four members had come up playing styles like jazz and punk rock, of course they would find themselves in a band on the verge of winning nationwide recognition as a bluegrass band -- from that hotbed of the genre, Austin Texas no less. Somehow, two plus two equals five with Wood & Wire, and here they are, carving out a niche that seems as unlikely as it is fortunate.

In this episode, singer and guitarist Tony Kamel and mandolin player Billy Bright talk about updating and spinning the old murder ballad “Darlin’ Corey” into their song “Pigs”, bringing in Peter Rowan for a tune, how growing up in Houston did not feel like growing up in the South at all, and how growing up in El Paso could easily be thought of as growing up somewhere not at all in Texas. That is just part of what they have to say, and of course, we feature some music from the band’s fourth studio album No Matter Where It Goes from Here.

Thanks to Sean Rubin for the audio of my call with Tony and Billy, and to Corrie Askew for producing the radio adaptations of this series on public radio WNCW. This is Southern Songs and Stories: the music of the South and the artists who make it.   - Joe Kendrick

Songs heard in this episode:

  • “Clamp’s Chute” by Wood & Wire from No Matter Where It Goes From Here, excerpt 
  • “Pigs” by Wood & Wire from No Matter Where It Goes From Here, excerpt
  • “Roadie’s Circles” by Wood & Wire from No Matter Where It Goes From Here, excerpt
  • [“My Hometown” by Wood & Wire from No Matter Where It Goes From Here]