Whatzzzup

Whatzzzup

BandPopChildren's Music

If Ben Fold’s Five got a female singer and worked with Tori Amos to write a Broadway musical sung by Ella Fitzgerald, that would sound like the Grace Woods Trio. A fierce blonde bombshell w/ original, poignant lyrics.

Biography

Fresh out of UCLA with a degree in English Literature, Grace Woods was focused on getting a steady job to eventually have a house, money for kids and a secure retirement. In came the quarter life crisis and the questions more commonly asked at age 40- is this all there is? What if I gave it all up? What if I accepted the possibility of having no kids, no man to depend on and no mortgage- what would I do then? This question was at first torturing, and she sought to escape it through worldly travel, a draining dayjob and a growing eating disorder. However, once she gave these things up, the answer to the question liberated her. With nothing to lose, she thought of the only thing she would keep on doing regardless of paycheck or obligation; music.
At the onset of this realization, Grace poured dark, brooding songs into her journal every night. Her memories started to confirm everything: the song she made up in first grade and sang over the loud speaker at St Brendan’s in San Francisco, the songs she wrote in 5th grade for the “Odyssey of the Mind� state competition, the songs she wrote in 8th grade looking out her window in Lafayette at night while her parents argued in the other room, the constant humming underwater as she swam laps at the park pool through her teen years in Orinda. It was more than the musicals and the school plays; it was the only way to connect.

Through the anger and confusion of a family divorce and several moves, Grace, Jim and Catherine Woods could always sing with and to each other. Though Jim and Catherine have more than ample material and talent, Grace most recently took music on as a career. She writes the lyrics first to almost all of her songs and the piano follows afterward.

Shortly after this career change, Whitney Jacobson began to message Grace through “myspace� about being her drummer. They had a breakfast, numerous band practices and one thing led to another. His rock solid foundation and faith that everything will work itself out forms the perfect balance for Grace’s driven, passionate personality. His willingness to improvise, his appreciation for reggae, jazz and funk, and his technical prowess bring an element of style and originality to the band that a studio drummer- for- hire could not provide. His insistence that every good song can stand alone without the vocals, ensures a solid musical thread through every project.

So the two fell in love and now live together in a studio in Berkeley, surrounded by a large rose garden generously tended to by their neighbors. The expanse of "lamb's ear" and dandelion makes up for the tiny space in between amps and instruments inside their apartment. They both believe they have something invaluable to give to each other and to the world.

This sense of "gifts not going to waste" led Grace to originate an open mic in the city, encouraging other artists to give as much as they could. It was this creative open mic environment that fostered her creativity and brought her to meet her best friend and bandmate Joe Hickey. Joe first decided he wanted in on the project after hearing a chilling rendition of the song "Paper Pillows" at an open mic.

Lucky for Grace, Joe proved himself a bassist who does more than just pulse on the root note. In fact, mastering the bass is just one of Joe's talents. Joe spends much of his time in a lab at UC Berkeley finishing his doctorate in chemistry. He deals more specifically with cell-to-cell communication and the biochemical aspect of growing cells, such as cancer cells. While this impresses in its own right, Joe lives a double-life as a forceful bassist and singer-songwriter.

He discovered his vocal and musical talent back in Maryland doing choir and playing in bands such as “Pebbledare�, but it wasn’t until he made the move to Berkeley that his musical career began to really take shape. With a knack for unexpected vocal harmonies and the tone of Jeff Buckley crossed with Tracy Chapman, everything Joe adds to the Grace Woods Trio creates an indispensable signature mark on the group’s sound. His versatility on bass, demonstrated in his grooves, solos and variation from song to song, further distinguish the Trio as a unique force to be reckoned with. On top of his instrumental abilities, Joe teaches Grace a lot about dynamics and enhances every song by changing arrangements in a way that make the songs build.

This story will be added to periodically...

Lyrics

Johnny

Written By: Grace Woods

Johnny says make the music
And maybe he’ll play the drums
Johnny pick up your broken heart
And hold it up to the stars
He says pain was meant for keys not men
The piano holds it better
Men were meant for wiser things
Like books and art and letter
But nothing rings like pain rings through
In a simple chord
A simple tune
Your chin’s too heavy to speak it out
so sing it
Or scream it loud

Johnny will play the left hand
And I’ll pick up the right
He says pain is like molasses
Slow and heavy through the night
Well we both lay it on there like sugar
As it drips over the keys
The piano’s got all the pain now
Only love left for Johnny and me

The only time I could ever be still is with my fingers movin
So he picked up a guitar for me
Though I didn’t know what he was proving
I’ll set you free he said and he smiled
Your ache is my busy work now
I’ll pluck it out on a nylon string
And you’ll find joy in the sound
Cuz nothing rings like a pain rings through
in a simple chord in a simple tune
Your chin’s too heavy to speak it out
So sing it then or scream it loud

Johnny will play the left hand
And I’ll pick up the right
He says pain is like molasses
Slow and heavy through the night
Well we both lay it on there like sugar
As it drips over the keys
The piano’s got all the pain now
Only love left for Johnny and me

Smoke came out of his nose
n’ I thought, here’s a man I do not know
But then he looked at me ashamed
And honesty made him glow
He lit up the black like a fire
Spreading down the line
And the powder keg was a minor tone
We both arrived there at the same time

Well nothin rings like pain rings through in a simple chord, a simple tune
Your chin’s too heavy to speak it out
So sing it then or scream it loud

Discography

EP 2006- self entitled
Full Album to be released in Fall 2007

All EP tracks and additional recordings stream live from gracewoodstrio.com/music and are currently played on local radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Set List

Our set list of originals is available for listening at gracewoodstrio.com. Though we are pop/jazz, we frequently play anywhere from 30 minute sets to 3 and a half hour sets for festivals etc. Our covers range from the Police and Gnarls Barkley to Mana, however, if given the choice we often do 3 and 1/2 hours of originals.