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"Woodpile Live at Toad"

Boston is filled with roots music acts, but here's one of the best. Led by the songwriting team of Holt Hopkins and Gene McAuliffe, Woodpile unveiled some excellent, Americana-tinged original songs (the standout "Nashville" soared on a blue-grassy rock tempo) and some wonderfully transformed covers, including the Band's Opehlia. Moreover, Woodpile's instrumental prowess was as strong as its vocals. - Steve Morse Boston Globe

"Woodpile Herald Album Review"

If you enjoy your roots rock with side of alt-country, climb up on this Woodpile. Leaders Holt Hopkins and Gene McAuliffe take their clear love of such artists as Wilco, Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett, the Band and even the Grateful Dead and mesh them together on this warm-sounding debut CD.
The pair strike a nice balance between genial catchy tunes - such as the bouncy opening ode to pit stops on the road of life "Baltimore to Boston" - and darker, funkier rockers; an uneasy malaise radiates from songs such as "Black" and "Dead Weight." - Sarah Rodman - Boston Herald

"Woodpile does 'Waltz' with its pals"

...A sold-out crowd at the Lizard Lounge braved Thursday's arctic chill to hear Woodpile take on "The Last Waltz" from start to finish, with one set break. There was a little more than two hours of music and a vibe that put you right into the comfort zone of what one would now term Americana -- a vibe pretty darn close to the real thing conveyed by the Band and friends Thanksgiving night, 1976.... - Jim Sullivan - Boston Globe

"Woodpile - Globe Album Review"

Boston's Woodpile is dramatically poised and confident on its new 15-song self-titled disc. The band is comprised of Holt Hopkins and Gene McAuliffe; both play guitar and sing. The sound is acoustic (with light country touches) while the songs - all originals - are light and melodic. They contain just the right amount of poppy edges and lyrical whimsy to prevent them from turning into heavy-handed, self-important lamentations. The barren arrangements are accentuated through gritty guitar work and sharp vocals. Several tracks stand out. "Baltimore to Boston" is smooth, with a little dash of the Velvet Underground. "For Whom it Concerns" is bolstered by a gorgeous, tender melody that echoes Lowell George. "Lonesome Skyline" is mellow, as is "Fingers." Additionally, "Black," "On Bended Knee" and "Steeple and the Damage Done" are gritty, guitar-driven tunes that sound like the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street. ...Hopkins and McAuliffe are excellent songwriters and their diligence is obvious from the first listen. 'Woodpile' is a damn fine disc. - Michael J. Ryan Boston Herald


Woodpile (self titled) (2001)
Happy Pills (2005)


Feeling a bit camera shy


If you are like us, first of all God help you, secondly you can tell in about sixteenth note if someone else shares the same inspirations that you do, and thirdly you have the ability to turn a blind eye to the world and stubbornly pursue those elusive rare rewarding moments that only show themselves when no one is looking.

Holt Hopkins was born on the streets of Baltimore, and like many of Barry Levinson’s characters, he grew up questioning the realism of Bonanza and dreaming of being an aluminum siding salesman. In his mind, the world was a place that laughed when it should have been crying, that smiled when it should have been sighing. He set out on his journey with nothing but a Sears Silver tone guitar, a pocketknife, and a couple of embarrassingly overdue library books he didn’t have the nerve to return. He knew one day he would return them, but only after he got a chance to read them.

Gene McAuliffe, the upper middle child in a second-generation Irish family of six, spent his formative years getting bad haircuts, recklessly riding bikes in rainstorms, being rescued from neighborhood bullies by a whiffle-ball bat wielding older brother, and going to 99 cent movies at the Plaza in Windsor, CT. He was permanently scarred by running a 600yd dash in a 7th grade 8:00 gym class, on a hearty breakfast of two jelly donuts and a glass of milk. During his high school years, he spent the first half hour of every day, lying in bed listening to his mother yell at him to "get up". After that "dashed hopes" followed him through a parade of lost card games,crumpled Schlitz tall boys, and misguided social commitments.

Too many years were extinguished by displacing energy trying to nurse an infirmary of damaged music back to health. As luck would have it, a mixture of irresponsible restaurant management, and common regard for traditional American music, would play a large part in the formation of Woodpile. There is a moment or destination, when arrived at, it cannot be denied. Or when you try to deny it, you don’t feel right, you feel like you’re passing up something you shouldn’t. This music had it’s own gravitational pull; there is a strength and a sense of purpose. As soon as Holt and Gene realized that resistance was futile, they began to record. This self-titled debut release is the joyous result.