This week, Grammy nominated Austin, Texas based progressive bluegrass quintet “Wood & Wire.” Also, interviews with these boundary bending bluegrass mavericks.
“To understand the musical entity known as Wood & Wire, it’s best to toss aside expectations regarding the sounds that might be created by four pickers holding assemblages of wood and wire — specifically acoustic guitar, bass, banjo and mandolin. Banjo player Trevor Smith spent some of his teen years in Tucson, Arizona, playing in headbanger bands while studying Bill Monroe and J.D. Crowe. Mandolinist Billy Bright, raised in El Paso, Texas, swore his youthful allegiance to punk rock. And bassist Dom Fisher holds a jazz studies degree from Ithaca College in upstate New York.
They don’t claim to defy categorization, they just ignore the notion of boundaries. ‘Us coming together and throwing those recipes in a blender is what makes the sound of what we do unique’ asserts Houston and Galveston raised lead singer/guitarist Tony Kamel. Kamel, unbelievably, cites Wood & Wire as his first professional band outing, though he obviously developed prodigious skills since digging his mom’s guitar out of the attic at 12.” - https://www.woodandwireband.com/bio
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers a 1978 archival recording of West Virginia country music legends The Bailes Brothers performing the traditional song “I Saw the Light,” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.
Writer, musician, and traditional dancer Aubrey Atwater discusses children’s songs in folk culture with musical examples and her own cultivated insight. In this segment, we look at children’s songs, many of which have ancient lyrics and references. As songs are passed from parent to child or child to child, it is very natural to sing about our surroundings and what we overhear. What is surprising, though, are the often morbid origins of these songs. Death, disease, cruelty, religious conflict, politics, war, corruption, taxes, you name it.