Wood Brothers 'Load' Up On Next Album

Medeski Martin & Wood's Chris Wood is joining his brother Oliver for a second time to release another set of blues/roots-themed songs, "Loaded." The 12-song set is due April 1 via Blue Note.

Medeski Martin & Wood's Chris Wood is joining his brother Oliver for a second time to release another set of blues/roots-themed songs, "Loaded." The 12-song set is due April 1 via Blue Note.

John Medeski produced, while Amos Lee and the Be Good Tanyas' Frazie Ford contributed vocals. "Our first record was mostly duo, mostly live in the studio and done innocently with not many expectations," Oliver tells Billboard.com. "The record almost made itself. On ['Loaded'], we made a real effort to make it different."

Despite being geographically distanced from one another, Chris and Oliver have grown accustomed to working on material alone, then bringing it to the collective table. "Unfortunately, we can't hang out and [record] that way," Chris says. "We usually pass stuff back and forth, or maybe bring a song and the other will change the lyrics, or add stuff here and there."

"I think it helps that we can work alone at first, especially with lyrics, and then come together to flesh things out," Oliver adds. "We're also in the unique situation of being siblings, so we often draw from the same things in our writing. We lost our mother last spring, and we processed that together quite a bit during the writing for 'Loaded.'"

For Chris, the Wood Brothers projects have been a chance to get back to his childhood years, when he logged many hours signing in choirs and bands. "Still, there's a lot to learn," he concedes. "It is weird that I ended up in an instrumental band for the last 17 years. Doing that professionally I got used to that. but it did take awhile to get used to getting back to working with lyrics."

The Wood Brothers will spend a month of the road starting April 16 in Vancouver. As previously reported, MMW are in the midst of a year-long process of recording three albums after coinciding tours.