Aaron Woody Wood
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Aaron Woody Wood

Asheville, North Carolina, United States | SELF

Asheville, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Band Rock Blues




"Murfreesboro Pulse"

The future of music lives inside of Aaron “Woody” Wood.

So does music’s past.

That gives us a present filled with joyful noise—a fantastic gift for everyone with ears.

Okay, so maybe that’s a little over the top and a lot cheesy, but it’s true.

Here’s a quick rundown of Woody’s past: His father played Bluegrass music with Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, Seldom Scene, etc., and Woody began going to music festivals at a very early age.

His first band, The Blue Rags, achieved moderate international success before he could even legally drink the Blue Ribbon in America.

Hollywood Red was the name of his rock and roll alter ego. The three-piece power trio could go effortlessly from a raucous cover of The Misfits’ “Last Caress” into Woody’s own power ballad “The Same Way I Feel” as though they were part of an opera. By the time he belted out his heart-wrenching chorus about recognizing the end of love, every leather-clad, spike-mohawk endowed street kid in Asheville was crying through a new piercing faster than you could say “emo.”

He was also an integral part of The Blue Brass Project as the lead vocalist on most tracks. This amazing collection features New Orleans jazz greats like The Rebirth Brass Band, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Trombone Shorty performing new arrangements to traditional songs with Woody and other Appalachian acoustic masters, Larry and Jenny Keel.

Now, with a new self-titled release as a solo artist, Aaron “Woody” Wood is bringing a futuristic approach to music that is as old as dirt.

“I like to take traditional forms and turn them on their ears,” Woody says. “There just isn’t a whole lot of originality out there so I try to let each song guide me. Sometimes it has odd phrasings; sometimes the chorus isn’t the hook; sometimes the hook is the bridge—you just have to follow the song.”

Dr. Loren Mulraine, chairman of the recording industry management program at MTSU, expresses this exact sentiment about great songwriting in the course that he teaches on the subject. He frequently tells his classes that “the song will tell you exactly what it needs.”

The mixing board Woody used to record his vocal and guitar tracks for the new record is a bona fide piece of history. It once belonged to The Beatles and came directly from Abbey Road studios. However, to help him capture a refreshing, new sound, he chose Nashville’s Roger Alan Nichols to produce the record. For the last 20 years, Nichols has been known for innovative efforts with rock and roll records around Nashville. His work, along with the success of local rockers Paramore that Nichols did some producing for, has helped usher in a new attitude about what is possible outside the realm of country music for Music City U.S.A.

While excited about the possibilities for the future, Woody realizes that this is a difficult time for artists. He points out that “Elvis Costello didn’t sell out [a show in Asheville, NC] last week and that’s really depressing.” After a moment of silence, he adds, “I just don’t think music is as important to people’s lives as it was 10 years ago.”

That led us to a discussion about Bonaroo, where Woody played two unforgettable sets this year in front of enormous crowds and led several workshops and demonstrations.

We talked a little bit about the huge productions that are being used lately by many of the top-grossing acts to accentuate their live performances. “It’s not new,” Woody maintains, “but it has an entirely different purpose. When Bowie did Ziggy Stardust, those were massive productions, but they were theatrical performances that added new dimensions to the music. Now everything, including the music, is essentially just a backdrop for the power of the contact between multiple human beings. It’s about quantum physics more than music.”

Woody gets quiet for a minute. We had been talking about practical music business affairs for way too long now, and we both just wanted to go back to playing guitar and singing songs. We say goodbye and he has to add, “I’m hungry man; now more than ever! Not for some big hit, but just to make something that lasts!”

Woody, my old friend, I don’t think you have to worry about that. - Boropulse.com

"Bold Life CD Review"

With elements of Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp and The Rolling Stones, Aaron "Woody" Wood has done something amazing with his self-titled album – he's transcended them all. Not to say he's "better" than these legends, but rather...he's picked up on their heart, on their ability to convey unique stories and on their ability to write timeless pieces of music, and he's painted over them with a musical color all his own. For a "skinny white boy" as he calls himself on his website, his voice is not only incredibly solid, forceful and wise, but contains a powerful amount of soul (usually only heard in funk, gospel, R&B and of course, soul) that seems to come effortlessly. This is most definitely a rock album, but Wood puts forward a fantastic vocal vibe reminiscent of Al Green or even a little bit like Gnarls Barkley's Cee Lo Green. As good as the songwriting and performances are on this album (and they can be best described as "ear candy" – and I mean that as a huge compliment), the production value is absolutely stunning. I've heard a lot of great albums from Asheville-area musicians, but I don't think I've heard a local album that sounds as good as this one. So deep and layered, it begs to be blasted at full volume. The folks at Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville have totally outdone themselves with this one. I'm going to sit my band down, let them listen to this CD, and use it to convince them we need to record our first album at Echo Mountain! Aaron Wood has created a work that he should both be very proud of, and expect to be a hit. I know I'll be putting it into heavy rotation for weeks to come. - Bold Life Magazine

"CD review: Woody Wood’s self-titled southern-fried blues-rock EP"

Back Home With Woody Wood

Sooner or later in any set of blues-inflected songs, somebody is getting shot. It’s not so much a question of why since 86% of blues shootings are crimes of passion. (The rest are either gambling cheats or thieves.) The big question is who will be doing the shooting and who will be singing about it. In the first track of the new EP currently streaming on Aaron “Woody” Wood’s website, he makes it clear he’s holding the steel. “Coal Black Hair” takes up a venerable blues form and fills it with a rock sound that does not shirk from the challenge of playing a type of music first wrought by some legendary bands.

The whole EP, in fact, uses the idioms of blues and southern rock without falling into parroting or parody of the genres’ pioneers. Instead, Wood shows that the fields cleared by those pioneers are still producing bumper crops of great tunes. Guilt and busted relationships even pervade the most radio friendly track, “Come Back,” which receives the gift of Wood’s passionate singing to lift it’s lyrics above their appearance on the printed page.

His strength as a songwriter is better illustrated in “Hold Your Tongue” and Wood spins the lyrics out with obvious pleasure in the craft of it. His vocals truly take hold in “Speak Your Name” and it is easy to imagine that voice (which is reminiscent of Chris Robinson) mixing with the track’s organ over the collected masses at Bonnaroo or some such gathering. If the tape were left to run, the Wood’s backing band has the talent to sustain an extended jam on an anthem like “Speak Your Name.”

That their talents run deeper is clear from the most musically interesting track on the EP, “Back Home.” With a clear chord progression that ends in an addictive piano hook, the music sets an atmosphere into which Wood can again enter with his distinctive voice. He has been recognized in many places for his passionate delivery, and for good reason. One suspects that he could make the Woodfin phone book dramatic, but I tend to believe that he’s not faking it on these songs.

That intensity, however, does not overpower the music on this EP. If Aaron Wood has learned anything from the wide variety of legendary musicians with whom he has played, it is that he can express as much with his restraint as with his playing. This EP rocks hard, but it works because no one element goes overboard. (In fact, I kind of wish there had been at least one all out guitar solo for me to air guitar.) Woody Wood is an established professional with a resume that extends from the Blue Rags through far too many legends of rock, blues, country, and jazz to enumerate here.

What this EP does, however, is give the listener an idea of what Wood is an artist. As such, he compares well to other artists like Warren Haynes and the Black Crowes and stands in succession to legends like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers. But because he plows the same ground, don’t assume the harvest is the same. The fruits of Wood’s labors are clearly his own and just the thing for a sticky hot summer night. - Blog Asheville

"Blue Rags’ Woody Wood w/Solo Rec"

If you're from the Asheville, NC, area you already know the name Aaron "Woody" Wood - he literally pops up every other week in some incarnation or another, from his roots/power trio (Hollywood Red) and Led Zep covers combo (Custard Pie) to assorted solo outings and even the occasional reunion gig with the mighty Blue Rags, who were signed to Sub Pop back in the ‘90s and were hugely influential on the Tarheel music scene. (Their fans were thrilled when they decided to get back together a few years ago, and the old chemistry apparently remained, so Blue Rags spotting has become a bit of a local pastime.) And the guy has a musical background that is as diverse as it can get.

His earliest memories are of making the rounds in the bluegrass circuit with his father A.L. Wood, often sitting on stage with Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers. He's dabbled in every genre from folk to rock to blues. He's had the opportunity to share the stage with R.L. Burnside to Leon Russel. to Sara Evans to Carlos Santana as well as a slew of New Orleans finest.

He's currently embarking on a new venture, funding a solo project on his own, having recently polished off a 5-song EP at Asheville's Echo Mountain studios by tapping the grassroots potential of fan-funding via Kickstarter.com. His plans are to now make a complete full-length via Kickstarter, with the usual array of donation tiers ranging from downloads and specially created merch to having him record a special cover song just for you and having him perform at a private party for you. - Blurt Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



Aaron Wood is quite the renaissance music man. He grew up steeped in the traditions of blues and folk music of North Carolina. His father has shared the stage with the likes of Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley and performed at The Grand Ole Opry, taking Aaron with him every chance he got. It didn't take long before the music took hold, and he studied any kind of music he could get his fingers on.

One look at the long list of artists he has shared the stage with exemplifies his diversity and respect from his musical peers. From Jimmy Martin to Leon Russel, R.L. Burnside to Warren Haynes, Sara Evans to Carlos Santana, Aaron has played with and learned from some of those who have helped shaped music into what it is today.

Aaron gets much of his music influence from New Orleans which is like a second home to him. He performs regularly with the Mardi Gras Indians and has recorded an album, the The Blue Brass Project which is a blend of traditional New Orleans jazz and bluegrass music. The Blue Brass sessions features Big Chief Monk Boudreaux , Woody, members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Rebirth Brass Band, Larry Keel, Trombone Shorty and many others.

As a professional musician, Aaron was a pivotal member of the Blue Rags, a band signed to Sub Pop Records. With this group he toured successfully throughout the US and abroad. The group garnered attention from several national media outlets. Aaron has had many successes as a solo artist as well. In 2006, he was the winner of the CMT television show Big Break. He opened for Sara Evans and the show aired numerous times on the network. His last album was recorded with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign in which he raised just under $10,000 from his fans. He's performed at Jazzfest this year in New Orleans as well as the Bonnaroo music festival. All of this success has been from his own hard work and diligence.

Whether it's a house show or Bonnaroo, Aaron puts his all into every performance he gives. Aaron delivers his music with all the soul, power, and energy that have made him renowned as a musicians' musician.