Jesse Woods
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Jesse Woods

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter




"Jesse Woods Releases New Single - Danger in the Dancehall"

Austin is a unique city in the sense that its Southern music scene is unlike any other. Not only do most touring bands pass through this part of Texas, but if you walk around Downtown, each rooftop is hosting its own live entertainment for the night. You have more musical choices in a smaller radius than you would in cities like Los Angeles or even New York.

And within this community lie those local gems who produce music that escapes the city's boundaries. The latest is folk musician Jesse Woods. He recently released his newest single, "Danger in the Dancehall," after spending the last year writing and recording his debut LP in his analog studio.

"Danger in the Dancehall" is an exploration of youth placed next to beautiful orchestration of piano and violin. The song is also available to stream below. - Filter Magazine

"Danger in the Dancehall by Jesse Woods"

Artist: Jesse Woods
Song: "Danger In The Dancehall"
Album: Get Your Burdens Lifted

"Essentially the song is about insecurity in youth – a juxtaposition between fear and not really knowing what to fear," Jesse Woods explains to Rolling Stone. " You're young and everything is in front of you, but you're getting older and the highs start getting higher making the lows feel lower so everything seems kind of messed up. You've got this new found freedom and the whole world at your fingertips and no idea what to do with it."
- Rolling Stone

"Jesse Woods: “Danger In The Dancehall”"

Coming out of high school, Jesse Woods was touted as a highly-prized talent, but not for his musical abilities. Rather, he was given a scholarship to play wide receiver at Texas A&M, but after four years and five surgeries, Woods decided to take off the pads and pick up a guitar and follow his dreams of being a country singer.

It’s not an unusual route–A&M has produced country royalty like Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen over the years. But in an interview with ESPN, Woods noted he was a bit different from his fellow Aggies and teammates, describing himself as the “hippie of the team.” Indeed, his music is more celestial than the terrestrial musings of Lovett and Keen, and his friendship with Alan Palomo of Neon Indian might paint a better picture. Woods’s 2010 debut EP Moon Rocks is understated but adventurous, featuring late-night acoustic ramblings along with a cover of Neon Indian’s trippy “Mind, Drips.” Woods now calls Austin home and his self-produced sound certainly fits with the local vibe. Yet the singer looks poised to break on a bigger scale with Get Your Burdens Lifted, his debut full-length. Set for release next year, the album mixes Woods’s twang with orchestral flourishes that make these songs truly live up to the title.

The record’s first taste, “Danger In The Dancehall,” has already received attention from Rolling Stone, and with good reason. It’s a hard look at what life is like for a lot of his generation. “I’m young and off the reservation…/I’m young and life’s a vacation” might sound appealing, but the surrounding chords are definitely in a minor key. “Essentially the song is about insecurity in youth – a juxtaposition between fear and not really knowing what to fear,” Woods told Rolling Stone.”You’re young and everything is in front of you, but you’re getting older and the highs start getting higher making the lows feel lower so everything seems kind of messed up. You’ve got this new found freedom and the whole world at your fingertips and no idea what to do with it.” It’s a scary proposition, but taking that first big step is certainly exhilarating. - KUT Austin NPR - Art Levy

"ACL Fest 2009"

After hearing something from his only recording, a homemade demo, everyone (including me) has been asking about this guy. Playing on the BMI Stage with a strong, supporting band I got some answers. He's a new, extremely talented singer/songwriter who will be getting a lot of attention. - Paste Magazine

"Jesse Woods :: Sparks"

There have only been a handful of occassions when I find out about an artist that I love them with such immediacy. I get a sense that with one listen, I’ll adore the rest of the tracks that follow. It’s what has been lost in music, that connection that you, as a listener, can feel the weight of the music, because it’s got soul. I get excited because whatever musical authority I have acquired over the years, among friends as well as this growing community on this vast geography of the internet- I get to spread that love in hopes that you’ll feel the way I do.

I feel this way about a new artist called Austin-based artist, Jesse Woods. I recently posted about him for that gorgeous Neon Indian cover and I’d really love to share some more tracks from him. He’s achieved the rare impossibility that a singer/songwriter could standout, and with the simple (and common) format of an acoustic guitar, can transform acoustic songs into something that endures. In him I hear AA Bondy, Bon Iver and Townes Van Zandt. The inflection in his voice is soothing, and thoughtful- with that endearing country-folk infusion when he sings about girls with a banjo and a slow rhythm. He’s got nothing more than a collection of EPs and about a year of playing behind him but his songs are worthy of a lifetime of Southern toil, and heartache. Singing with the soul of an aged man, armed with the lovely sweet voice of a boy. Listen below and you’ll see what I mean. - Friends With Both Arms

"Texas A&M's Jesse Woods is hittin' all the right notes"

Jesse Woods is a complicated man, part college athlete, part pained musician.

Coming out of Katy, Texas, Woods was a 6-foot-3, 209-pound wide receiver, talented enough to earn a scholarship to Texas A&M. He was a star at Taylor High School in Katy, a football-crazed city where one high school has won four state championships in the past decade.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Jesse Woods was a big wide receiver for Texas A&M, but had five surgeries in four years before going a different route.
Now behind the Orange Curtain in Austin, Woods, 27, offers a different profile. He's an up-and-coming singer-songwriter performing what he calls a "dream-folk sound, a mix between a harmonious folk song and country music." His star is on the rise, having played at the prestigious "Austin City Limits" music festival in 2009 and a label showcase at South by Southwest this year.

Woods understands the conflict could be confusing to an outsider. How does a guy who lives in the violent world of major college football transform into making music that he admits is "very gentle"?

"When you go to college and you're playing football, it becomes a full-time job and a way of life," Woods said. "It produces that warrior-type mentality that's the opposite of artistic music.

"Going from high school football when you're playing with all your buds, that kinda becomes your passion and your focal point for everything you do," Woods said. "Coming from a town like Katy, that produces that kind of outlook."

But after five surgeries in four years at A&M, Woods ditched the football career and found himself with a lot of free time during his senior year. He passed the time by getting back to his roots, writing songs in the same vein as the music he'd grown up loving. - ESPN


Jesse Woods - Jesse Woods

1. Hounds of Heaven
2. Ugly Dress
3. PJ
4. Broken Cowboy
5. Sunken Sailboat
6. Down to the River
7. Sun Moonshine
8. Life is Rad

Moon Rocks EP

1. Sparks
2. Ugly Dress
3. Mind, Drips (neon Indian cover)
4. Neon Rose
5. Neon Rose (drum mix)

Get Your Burdens Lifted - Q1 2013



Austinite Jesse Woods makes whiskey-drenched, echo-laden folk that is as haunting as it is beautiful. Woods has spent the past year writing and recording his debut LP in his self-constructed, all analog studio. Fans of the enigmatic songwriter’s early demos and Moon Rocks EP will be excited to hear that Get Your Burdens Lifted adheres to Woods’ signature smoky, resonant stylings that have landed him praise from both critics and musical peers across the board.

Through frequent collaboration with some of Austin’s finest talent (including studio co-owner Bill Baird of Sound Team and Sunset, and current buzz makers Sleep Good), Woods has honed a timeless yet unique sound that embodies the spirit of Austin’s underground.

Attracted by the “hint of strange” in Austin’s songwriting history, and demos from an old friend who was active in the Austin scene at the time, Woods wound up in the Texas hub for music and culture about 4 years ago.

“After school, I spent a few years going back and forth between Colorado and California - working various odd jobs and dabbling in spirit animal space exploration. A friend of mine from high school sent me some recordings he was working on in Austin,” said Woods.

“He was plugged into the budding scene and I was really into the bands he was working with - Peter and the Wolf, Bill Baird, {{{SUNSET}}} - Austin just seemed like a good place to start playing shows. The city is surrounded by the perfect mix of lakes, state parks, and other various swimming holes. I think that's my favorite attribute of Austin. It can definitely be a progbuzz city of lights, but you can get into the wild by way of a 15 minute bike ride.”

The City’s blend of musical genres - most prominently the Americana sounds: blues, rock, country - and aesthetic inspiration have proven to be a rich breeding ground for Woods’ aural magic thus far. His previous work has landed him support from the likes of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Hanni el Khatib, Beach Fossils, Tori Amos, Tennis, These United States and many others.