The Wood Brothers second studio effort Loaded due out next Tuesday April 1st on Blue Note Records is a successful amalgamation of folk, a touch of gospel, country, roots, and blues music produced by Chris Wood's Medeski, Martin and Wood band mate John Medeski. Chris Wood (from MMW) and his brother Oliver have a close musical connection that really shines through in Loaded. The lyrics are mundane in such a delightful way that almost any listener could connect with them. At the heart of the album is the inspiration and closer connection the brothers now feel with the recent loss of their mother. Many of the song lyrics have a tortured artist feel to them with an upbeat melody thus providing a unique feel within the traditional blues format. The melodies are simple and harkens back to a simpler musical time and the Wood Brothers’ vocal harmonies are so tight that it sounds like they are just overdubs of the same pipes. Every song on the record is not only listenable but downright enjoyable. “Postcards from Hell” is a great introduction for new listeners to the duo’s distinct roots-y, blues sound. The second verse sums up the way I feel about Loaded saying “you never heard a soul so pure and true/it’s flowin’ right out of his hands/ he can sing sweet as a choir girl/ he can sing a house on fire”. Dylan and Hendrix fans will certainly enjoy The Wood Brothers’ take on “Angel (featuring Amos Lee)” and Dylan’s “Buckets of Rain”. “Make Me Down a Pallet On Your Floor” is probably the most fun track on the record and sounds like a couple of friends jamming on the porch on a sunny Friday afternoon, which hopefully we can all relate with. “Still Close” is the brothers’ requiem ode to their recently deceased mother and is a fitting end to a rock-solid album.
7.5 out of 10