Upstage Live: The Wood Brothers

Mike Dronkers / Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 @ 8:44 a.m. / In Studio, Upstage Live

We were treated to Q+A & music from the Wood Brothers for Upstage Live yesterday, and damn, that was fun. Enjoy the podcast/audio below, and the video (songs, full episdode) is on our Youtube Page

This episode was aired live from Humbrews. Huge thanks to them, as well as Malcolm DeSoto for editing the video. 


From early in their childhood in Boulder, CO., Chris and Oliver were steeped in American roots music. Their father, a molecular biologist, would perform classic songs at campfires and family gatherings, while their mother, a poet, instilled a passion for storytelling and turn of phrase.

The brothers bonded over bluesmen like Jimmy Reed and Lightnin’ Hopkins, but their paths, musical and otherwise, would diverge. Oliver moved to Atlanta, where he played guitar in cover bands before earning a spot in Tinsley Ellis’s touring act.

At Ellis’s behest, Oliver began to sing and then founded King Johnson, a hard-touring group that would release six albums of blues-inflected R&B, funk and country over the next 12 years. Chris, meanwhile, studied jazz bass at the New England Conservatory of Music, moved to New York City and, in the early ‘90s, formed Medeski Martin & Wood, which over the next two decades would become a cornerstone of contemporary jazz and abstract music.

This episode of Upstage Live is grateful for technical support from Humbrews, Streamguys, Runaway Kite Productions, and A Nutter Production. PHOTO: John Chapman