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The best kept secret in music


One doesn’t expect to find great music at local festivals. The musicians that normally play those tiny stages are barely worth the title, and the stages themselves, with their local restaurant sponsorships and sub-par sound crews, sway in the wind out of time with the kick drum.

No, we never expect good music at these festivals. What we expect to find are bad bands doing bad covers of overplayed R&B standards. What we expect are over-the-hill, feathered-hair soccer moms belting out Janis Joplin with their weekend band, as their kids and husband watch from the picnic blanket in the lawn, and we expect to see that ‘I-coulda-been-a-real-singer-if-I-hadn’t-been-knocked-up-during-my-senior-year’ look in her eye.

So, when a friend told me last summer that we were going to a local beer-tasting-&-boat-racing festival here in my little suburban burg, specifically to hear a music duo, I was hesitant at best. I’d grilled him about the music, the artists, their genre, comparisons to other artists. His answers were vague at best, as he had never seen them either, but had merely heard about them from the drummer in their other band. Skeptical, and armed with virtually no knowledge of what I was about to see, I went to the gig.

Thank goodness I did! What I found, on this sub-par stage at this sub-par festival, was Woodrush, and there was nothing sub-par about them. In fact, they were one of the best musical surprises I could have imagined.

Mixing together a sweet blend of Folk, Rock, Hip-Hop, and Pop, Woodrush wears their influences on their sleeves in a way that always feels fresh and exhilarating. With songs that reminds you simultaneously of Van Morrison, Sublime, Bare-naked Ladies, and G-Love & Special Sauce, they blend genres and decades into a single cohesive sound.

Woodrush is comprised of Kelly Shirey (vocals, guitar) and Jim Castaneda (vocals, bass, beat-box). Yes, that’s right, folks, you read beat-box.

Jim, a 30-something white boy from the suburbs of Seattle, is a jaw-dropping-bad-ass on the beat box, and he loops some amazing rhythms, some mistakable for actual drum beats, to back up his bass lines, which are pretty incredible in their own right, staying tight in the pocket with a tone that’s got both crisp attack and deep rolling lows.

Kelly, the primary songwriter of the pair (as well as for their other band), delivers bright and poppy songs with melodies that you can sing along with by the second or third verse. Although he couldn’t hide his influences if he tried, no one could ever accuse him of being a copycat; Kelly pays tribute to his heroes while still sounding fresh and unique.

The best part of this particular duo is the way they harmonize together, creating a blend of their voices that instantly invokes images of Simon & Garfunkle or Crosby Stills Nash & Young.

And as much as they can remind you of so many other artists who’ve come before, they remain inventive and innovative. Even when playing covers, Woodrush makes the songs their own. I can honestly say that I regularly prefer Woodrush’s versions of the songs to the originals.

Since that first surprising day, I have seen Woodrush, as well as their other band, dozens of times. They continue to surprise me with excellent new material, and fun new covers, and I look forward to hearing a lot more music from Woodrush... not to mention that other band.

Leland Hirschman
Dep't of Records
Mars Sound
- Mars Sound

Raining Notes Music and Woodrush -- an acoustic duo from Seattle, WA -- take home the prize at the 16th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards with their hit single "Road Trippin'."

Hollywood, CA (Billboard Publicity Wire) December 1, 2006 -- Acoustic folk/rock duo, Woodrush, from Seattle, WA. has recently been chosen from thousands of bands as an award recipient for "Best Acoustic Single" for "Road Trippin'" at the 16th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards. The event took place at the Music Box Theatre. The best new artists in the international music scene were honored.

the world's leading Independent Artist & Repertoire Company
In early June of 2006, Raining Notes Music, a San Diego-based production company, and Woodrush released "So Far From Home." The debut album was recorded at Strate Sound Studios in San Diego, engineered by Alan Sanderson (The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Weezer) and mastered at Sterling-Sound Studios in New York by Greg Calbi (U2, Coldplay, Bob Dylan). Photography for the album was provided by Henry Diltz, known for his "Morrison Hotel" photo of The Doors.

Woodrush has received recent acclaim. TAXI, "the world's leading Independent Artist & Repertoire Company," is quoted as saying, "Everything about this CD seems to be impressive." The band's award-winning single has been recently picked up by non-commercial radio and is bringing the band to new level of success. And the November issue of Performing Songwriter magazine features an photo ad of Woodrush.

For additional information on Woodrush, visit www.woodrushmusic.com. For media relations, contact Kyle R. Pulverenti or visit www.rainingnotes.com.

About Raining Notes Music
Raining Notes Music is a music publishing and production company. Their mission is to assist the performing songwriter bring their best music forth. Excellent songs are the key. Production, publishing and promotion are the strategy. Damn good music is the result.

Woodrush, an acoustic duo from Seattle, is the Grand Prize Runner Up for BEST GROUP/DUO in the 3rd Annual Internationa Acoustic Music Awards.

Their winning track "so far from home" will appear on the 3rd annual Acoustic Music compilation disc. - IAMA


So far from home:
After signing a development deal with Raining Notes in late 2005, Woodrush was flown down to Strate Sound Studios in San Diego to work with acclaimed Sound Engineer, Alan Sanderson. Sanderson has worked with such artists as The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Fiona Apple, Weezer, and more. The album was then sent to Sterling-Sound Studios in New York to be mastered by world renowned Mastering Engineer, Greg Calbi. Calbi has mastered albums for a staggering list of prominent artists such as U2, Cold Play and Bob Dylan.

The final step in completing the album was a photo shoot with legendary rock photographer, Henry Diltz. Diltz is widely known for the cover photo on The Doors album, “Morrison Hotel”, but has also photographed countless music legends from the late sixties to the present. In June of 2006, the album, so far from home, was released. “So far from home” has already begun to receive praise. TAXI, "the world's leading Independent Artist & Repertoire Company," is quoted as saying, "Everything about this CD seems to be impressive."

Other Projects:
Woodrush also appears on the compilation album, “Drink to Bones that Turn to Dust”, A Tribute to Oingo Boingo, released in October 2006; produced and recorded by Dep’t of Records. Jim and Kelly also released two other albums under the band name “Three Shades of Gray” (3SG).


Feeling a bit camera shy


Woodrush has been performing in the Northwest for over 6 years and is starting to make their presence known to a larger audience. The single, “road trippin’”, off their debut album, “so far from home”, won “Best Acoustic Single of the Year” at the 16th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards.

Nearly 10 years of friendship and songwriting have led Jim and Kelly to a sound that is polished and cohesive. Their music is representative of West Coast acoustic rock with clean melodies and strong harmonies infused into well-crafted songs. Intimate lyrics reveal the voice of a genuine songwriter while vocal percussion peppers their work and completes the Woodrush sound.

Bits of folk, funk, rock, pop, and a hint of modern country make so far from home the perfect album to listen to during a mellow evening with friends or around the campfire at summer’s end. Keep your eyes open for great things to come from these talented performers.