Woody Pines brings eclectic and fun roots music to Boone
Woody Pines was way ahead of the current retro curve in American roots music.
These days, bands like Pokey Lafarge, Dustbowl Revival, Old Crow Medicine Show and the Carolina Chocolate Drops are on the boards, playing 1930s-influenced jump blues, early jazz, hard country and proto-bluegrass music around the country.
Pines, who will be bringing his band to the Boone Saloon on Saturday, May 3, has been one of the happy troubadours that have helped to keep this music alive for quite a few years now. On this tour, he is backed up by slap bass specialist Shawn Supra and vintage electric guitarist Brad Tucker.
“One of the very first gigs I had with a band before I formed Woody Pines was with the Kitchen Syncopators, and a woman came up to us, I think I was 16 and it was out in Oregon, and she said that people were going to be disillusioned with some of the current country music, but they still wanted stuff with that country vibe,” Pines said. “I think that comes in waves, as far as the quality of the Nashville stuff that is out on the mainstream. I think that once things become a little too manufactured, it speaks to people less. Looking back, it was like an early American renaissance in the 1920s and ’30s, when jazz and the Scots-Irish and African all came together and made ragtime.”
Woody Pines is much more than a nostalgia act, however, as the band still brings a modern sensibility to its music, as well as original songs.
“That early jazz stuff is what we draw from a lot, but we also write our own songs and try and fit them into that idiom,” Pines said. “I just like hard-tempo, hard-playing music on acoustic instruments and sometimes even electric instruments. I will leave verses out and rewrite verses that I feel is relevant. I won’t sing about stuff like riding around in a Model T Ford. It will be more like a Cadillac. It is kind of like Doc Watson. I remember Doc Watson saying that he was a ‘tamperer.’
“I saw Doc Watson at Bristol Rhythm and Roots a few years ago, and it was a real treat. American music is our music, and it’s changing, and folk music is written by hundreds of people. So, I like using melodies and different ideas from ‘Old Weird America,’ as some people call it. But we also play bluegrass and contemporary bluegrass, and when I jump on an electric guitar, it is more rockabilly.”
When it comes to the live shows, Woody Pines hopes that the audience has fun. There are some gigs that they play overseas where it is more of a sedate experience for those in attendance, and they adjust their music accordingly. But the show at Boone Saloon will surely be more of a dance party.
“We do kind of take you around America, musically,” Pines said. “We at least try and cast a spell with that. Usually, it is up tempo and fast-paced, going from song to song with little stories in-between. So, we do a little bluegrass, we do old-time, old jazz, some honky tonk, and we’ll throw some Hank Williams songs in there, as well as some originals. We’ll mash it all up and it’s a lot of fun.”
The show starts at 10 p.m., and tickets are $5. Boone Saloon is located 489 W. King St. in downtown Boone.
For more information, visit http://www.woodypines.com.