Woodbrain is a four-piece, cutting-edge electric roots/blues band led by Jody Carroll (Joe McMurrian) on guitar/vocal & banjo, Jimi Bott on drums (Fabulous Thunderbirds, Rod Piazza), David Lipkind on harmonica (I Can Lick Any Son of a Bitch, Spigot) and Jason Honl on Bass.
With a guitar/harmonica/bass/drums line-up, WOODBRAIN might be mistaken for a typical blues collective — at least until this fiery Portland-based foursome begins to play, when it quickly becomes apparent they are potentially an evolutionary force in the genre. Or several genres at once.
WOODBRAIN’S energy is incendiary; their music deeply rooted in tradition. And yet their songwriting and improvisation pull those roots in all kinds of directions informed by the generations of Son House, Jimi Hendrix, and John Coltrane. Without sacrificing an iota of heart or soul, their sound effortlessly skirts boundaries to reach blues, rock, Americana, and jam scene listeners alike.
Together as a collective, WOODBRAIN is massive machine of sound: Imagine If Robert Johnson had heard Hendrix and hooked up with Jack Bruce, John Bohnam and Little Walter, mix in contemporary song writing and one-of-a-kind musical performances and you have an amazing band.
Progressive high-energy music, gut-wrenching emotion and energy transitioning to graceful melodies, complex harmonies and challenging meter changes make for the most powerful Roots/Blues music around. The sound is rooted in Delta Blues and Old American Roots music, but is weaved into a modern concept of improvisation and original story telling that owes as much to John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin as it does to Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell, R.L Burnside or Bert Jansch. WOODBRAIN is the new face of American Roots & Blues music, one that crosses limiting musical boundaries, trivialities and fads and soars up within the infinity of sound.
“One of the best electric blues bands on the scene... Think of Woodbrain as the North Mississippi Allstars of the Pacific Northwest. Certainly this band has enough dynamite in its sound to blow up a small bridge.”
“This quartet, like some muddy river, rolls on with dark and hypnotic intent, roiled by the occasional musical eddy. Their free-form explorations of the blues evoke the sounds of the Rev. Gary Davis, R.L. Burnside and Son House, but they play well outside the confines of rural blues.”
“Contender in the ‘best thing I’ve heard all year’ stakes... Woodbrain make music within the blues tradition, but are not afraid to diversify and take chances . . . that’s what maybe makes this release so appealing.”
—Blues in the Northwest UK (Ireland)
“An irresistible blend... You see the term “Brave New Blues” bandied about quite a bit, but in this case, it certainly applies. These guys are absolutely fearless, taking the blues in directions where few have ventured.”