Al Wood and the Woodsmen
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Al Wood and the Woodsmen


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"Review: Mood Swingin' Blues - Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange (United States)"

Admittedly, it's impossibly difficult to bring something, anything new to the tried and tested blues field. No new technology or hip hop cut 'n' paste is going to sound like it belongs in the grooves naturally. The only new trend Hannah Montana will bring is in sales, none of which will affect the guys down in the trenches, or the ancient old guard who cut their teeth at the crossroads, still hoping the ink hasn't dried on the devil's pact. So instrumental virtuosity and a deep seated desire to get a Wii addicted, Survivor jaded people in the groove is the daunting challenge facing the new bluesman. None of us could possibly count or imagine those who try and fall by the wayside. So special mention must be made of those who continue to punch and swing along.

Fronted by the brandy voice, randy blue harmonica, and the lyrical sting of Al Wood's guitar, Mood Swingin' Blues rock-a-billy and chugging train rhythms pack more wallop and swinging late night mood swings in these thirteen all original, cliché-free tracks than most blues ensembles will conjure in a career. Spirited arrangements (Late Night Stroll, Blame Shiftin' Blues, Highway 17, Parting Glass) humor (Firefly and Treena Ballerina), and the aforementioned instrumental virtuosity of Wood; a trust worthy rhythm section of bassists Lindsay Pugh, Chris Breitner, and drummer Matt Sobb; the bold swell of organist/piano man Steve Marriner; and the backing vocals of rising singer/songwriter Lynne Hanson, make Mood Swingin' Blues that rare blues disc that both devotees and newbies can listen to, and most appreciably, swing to. - Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange

"Al Wood and the Woodsmen "Mood Swingin' Blues" CD review"

Album Score: 9.45?

“I love this album, it’s Romantic and Fun! Many flavors influence this album and it is primed to influence your spirit to bring you out of the blues! The doctor’s prescription is to take a dose of mood swinging blues now!” Big Wayne

Al Wood is a multi-talented performer and song writer from Ottawa, Canada. Al plays a mean Chicago roots Harmonica and on guitar he is expressive and diverse! On this album Al and the Woodsmen’s innovative style are heard. Many flavors of music are combined, but yet remain unique.
Blues Flavored roots/folk and country influence with, at times, acoustic rhythm of the rails. Thirteen all original tunes make for nearly an hour of foot tapping music that will get you feeling your blues fade away. I felt as if I knew the music even though it was new to me. Clever lyrics, great vocals, awesome Harmonica solos and a fantastic band consisting of Fiddle, Guitar, Acoustic Bass, Drums, Lap Steel Guitar, Mandolin, and Banjo. Had me whistling along with the first song.
My top 3 songs were “Firefly”, “Treena Ballerina” and “Feeble-Minded Woman”; with my favorite being “(Enter) Jazz Thief (Exit) You”. I know that’s 4 favorites not 3. LOL
I really enjoyed all the aspects of this album and can’t wait to see what’s next. Are you all coming to California anytime soon? Let me know! - Live Blues Tonight (California)

"Ottawa Blues Society Review -- Al Wood and the Woodsmen "Mood Swingin' Blues Summer Newsletter 2010"

Independent (2008)
Reviewed by Mike Graham
Al Wood is a multi-talented performer and song writer who has been performing for over twenty years. Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, he now lives in Ottawa and is a ‘regular’ on the Ottawa blues scene. When you listen to this CD, it is evident that Al appreciates Chicago Blues and this is demonstrated on many of the
tracks. "Mood Swingin' Blues" was recorded at Ottawa's Metropolitan Studios (engineered, co-produced and mastered by the talented Jason Jaknunas) and features, from MonkeyJunk, the excellent drum delivery of Matt Sobb
and the organ and piano style of Steve Marriner. The CD contains 13 original tracks (all written by Al Wood) that cover a variety of musical genres – rockabilly, traditional blues, country and jazz. You cannot help but be impressed by his
delivery of many forms of blues along with his originality. Feature tracks such as ‘Blame Shiftin' Blues’ and ‘Late Night Stroll’ are slow-bluesy traditional numbers that exemplify a Chicago Blues style that is evident in Al's musical offerings. Yet, Al
can easily switch to up-tempo tracks such as ‘Firefly’ and ‘Highway 17’ featuring Lindsay Pugh’s guitar work and Al’s excellent harmonica playing. One track that I really enjoy is ‘Treena Ballerina’ with its shuffle-beat -- a real toe-tapper! Jazz enthusiasts will appreciate a track appropriately entitled ‘Enter Jazz Thief (Exit) You’. The CD takes you on a trip down the blues highway … filled with highs and lows of life's experiences that make up the music we call the blues! When you get a chance to see Al perform, don't forget to pick up a copy of this won't
regret it!!
“Mood Swingin’ Blues”– Al Wood & the Woodsmen
- Ottawa Blues Society Newsletter - Summer 2010


*Al Wood and the Woodsmen*-Right on Cue - 2012
-was on the Top 20 CDs of DAWG FM 101.9 Ottawa
-was a CBC "Fresh Air" Pick of the Month.

*Al Wood and the Woodsmen - "Mood Swingin' Blues" - 2008
- this CD was nominated for Northern Ontario Music and Film award - best album; and best vocal performance for the song "Late Night Stroll."
- Was on the Ottawa Blues Radio Station "Dawg 101.9 FM" Top Twenty for approximately three months climbing as high as number ten among national and international blues greats. The CD has been well reviewed and also played extensively on CBC radio and many University Stations in Canada and the United States.
- was a pick of the month on CBC "Fresh Air"
*Red Wood Central - "Behind the Times" 2002
*Red Wood Central - "Red Wood Central" 1999
- Both Red Wood Central CDs receive extensive radio airplay and co-stars Al Wood



Al Wood and the Woodsmen are four on the floor blues band with a unique style and spin on the genre. The Woodsmen just won the Ottawa Blues Society "Road to Memphis Challenge" against fourteen great bands and represented Ottawa in Memphis, TN in February!!

Al Wood is a multi-talented performer and songwriter with a deep reverence for the blues and traditionally-based roots music. Born in Sault Ste. Marie (the Soo), Ontario, Al’s father first taught him how to pick out old country tunes on the harmonica. Now a virtuoso harmonica player, talented guitar stylist, and golden-throated singer, Al lives in Ottawa and Highway 17 is more than a song; it’s a road well-traveled.

Al has been playing and performing for over twenty years in countless contexts. As a teenager in the Soo he cut his teeth playing in blues bands to a crowd plugged into punk and “alternative” music at the time which took him and long time and current collaborator Lindsay Pugh to Montreal. Al throws his whole heart and soul into every performance with the same exuberance and showmanship whether for a crowd of two or two hundred.

The current Al Wood and the Woodsmen are the product of many years of hard work and slugging. The sound is harmonica driven blues with Wood's showmanship taking centre stage. Often the two distinct guitars of Lindsay Pugh and Marty Sobb are propelled and backed by the expert rhythm section of Frank Deresti (bass) and Simon Meilleur (drums). The collective product is the unique and energetic Woodsmen sound! Al Wood also performs also in duo and trio configurations to rave reviews.

About the CD Mood Swingin’ Blues

Mood Swingin' Blues has received excellent reviews and garnered frequent radio airplay. The CD was on DAWG FM 101.9 Top Twenty for upwards of three months among national and international artists. Al Wood’s heart-on-the-sleeve vocals, harmonica-playing and guitar work create a powerful potion on stage and in the studio. Backed by the talented Woodsmen, the new and original Mood Swingin’ Blues is an emotional Ferris wheel ride where everything goes, everything grooves and even the “hurtin’ songs” make you feel good.

Thirteen full-band songs, all penned by Al Wood, span the highest and the lowest ranges of human emotion, weaving together diverse forms of blues and related styles with a unique originality that defies cliché and elevates the soul the way only music can. Also lyrically rich and full of imagery, Wood’s songs take us down shiny neon-lit streets, into a hot crowded jazz club, or on an enchanted jaunt through a fairytale countryside.