The Wood Brothers, The Dead Tongues

Tue Apr 7 2020

7:00 PM Doors

Majestic Theatre

4120 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48201

POSTPONED

All Ages

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The Wood Brothers have partnered with Thistle Farms so that $1 from every ticket sold will go towards helping women survivors recover and heal from trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. Thistle Farms is a nonprofit social enterprise based in Nashville, TN, providing a safe place to live, a meaningful job, and a lifelong sisterhood of support. For more info, visit https://thistlefarms.org/pages/our-mission.

AEG & The Ark Present
The Wood Brothers, The Dead Tongues

  • Due to the recent mandate by the State of Michigan, this event has been postponed. More information on the new date will be sent to ticket holders as soon as possible.
  • The Wood Brothers

    The Wood Brothers

    Country

    The Wood Brothers didn’t know they were making a record. Looking back, they’re grateful for that.
     
    “If we had known, we probably would have been too self-conscious to play what we played,” reflects bassist/vocalist Chris Wood. “At the time, we just thought were jamming to break in our new studio, so we felt free to explore all these different ways of performing together without worrying about form or structure. It was liberating.”
     
    Recorded live to tape, those freewheeling, improvised sessions became a vast pool of source material from which The Wood Brothers would go on to draw ‘Kingdom In My Mind,’ their eighth studio release and most spontaneous and experimental collection yet. While on past records, the band—Chris, guitarist/vocalist Oliver Wood, and drummer/keyboardist Jano Rix—would write a large batch of songs and then record them all at once, ‘Kingdom’ found them retroactively carving tunes out of sprawling instrumental jam sessions like sculptors chipping away at blocks of marble. A testament to the limitless creativity of the unharnessed mind, the record explores the power of our external surroundings to shape our internal worlds (and vice versa), reckoning with time, mortality, and human nature. The songs here find strength in accepting what lies beyond our control, thoughtfully honing in on the bittersweet beauty that underlies doubt and pain and sadness with vivid character studies and unflinching self-examination. Deep as the lyrics dig, the arrangements always manage to remain buoyant and light, though, drawing from across a broad sonic spectrum to create a transportive, effervescent blend that reflects the trio’s unique place in the modern musical landscape.
     
    “My brother came to this band from the blues and gospel world, and my history was all over the map with jazz and R&B,” says Chris, who first rose to fame with the pioneering trio Medeski Martin & Wood. “The idea for this group has always been to marry our backgrounds, to imagine what might happen if Robert Johnson and Charles Mingus had started a band together.”
     
    ‘Kingdom In My Mind’ follows The Wood Brothers’ most recent studio release, 2018’s ‘One Drop Of Truth,’ which hit #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and garnered the band their first GRAMMY nomination for Best Americana Album. NPR praised the record’s “unexpected changes and kaleidoscopic array of influences,” while Uncut hailed its “virtuosic performances and subtly evocative lyrics,” and Blurt proclaimed it “a career-defining album.” Tracks from the record racked up roughly 8 million streams on Spotify alone, and the band took the album on the road for extensive tour dates in the US in Europe, including their first-ever headline performance at Red Rocks, two nights at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore (captured on their 2019 release, ‘Live At The Fillmore’), and festival appearances everywhere from Bonnaroo to XPoNential.
     
  • The Dead Tongues

    The Dead Tongues

    Folk

    Ryan Gustafson remembers very little about the origins of the ten songs on Unsung Passage, his profound new reflection on the emotional architecture of love, loneliness, and life at large.
    He mostly knows that the songs were written during quick spans scattered between various tours of the last two years—as a supporting guitarist for his kindred North Carolina spirits Hiss Golden Messenger and Phil Cook’s Guitarheels and as the leader of his own long-evolving vehicle for a beautifully fractured vision of folk, country, blues, and cosmic American rock, The Dead Tongues. Gustafson’s third and best album under that name, Unsung Passage depends more on the songs themselves than the sounds around them. It is a first-person reckoning with the things Gustafson, a chronically peripatetic adventurer, has seen enough to sing about. “Every turn, every changing that occurs,” Gustafson offers during “The Broken Side of People Everywhere,” his voice sweetly yearning for whatever it is that might come next. “There’s a string attached, with a promise at the end.”
    Indeed, funneling the lessons of the road into songs isn’t new for Gustafson; during the last two decades, it has become his standard practice. When he was twenty, he left North Carolina for the first of many backpacking trips across Europe, little but a sense of adventure and wonder to his name. He has hitchhiked from Oregon to New Orleans with a banjo and a bag and lived in and rebuilt an aging school bus, meant for an extended trek across the continent (that is, until the cost of gas proved prohibitive). After several years in a commune in the western woods of Asheville, North Carolina, he now lives in a nearby camper, at least when he’s off the road long enough to call anything home. “When I’m traveling, it’s like walking into these different windows. I’m a witness, with my mouth shut,” Gustafson says. “The people you meet, the way the landscape speaks to you, how a desert is different than a mountain: It has the potential to bring out something you didn’t know was there.”
    The ten remarkable songs of Unsung Passage are long-distance distillations of such experiences, of events lived and places seen and pondered and ultimately poured into reflective anthems for our harried times. During “Like a Dream,” a gentle gallop of grinning harmonica and trickling guitar, Gustafson explores the balance of existence from a hillside vantage. He sees the curve of the earth while pondering his need for a paycheck, a moment that eternally pits the banal against the beautiful. “The Broken Side of People Everywhere” is a gorgeous love song written with the wisdom of someone who knows that nothing is forever or perfect, that there’s no real risk in a life where everything ends, anyway. There are meditations on mortality and devotion (the flute-laced dream “My Other”), on money and temporality (the banjo trot “The Giver”), and on impermanence and acceptance (the achingly gorgeous “Pale November Dew.”) This isn’t Gustafson’s idle speculation about life and the world; these are the realizations of a restless mind, of a songwriter who sings “this old town ain’t gonna watch me die” and means it.
    Gustafson recorded these songs much as they were written—during short summer sojourns away from the road, when he and a quartet of friends could gather in the Chapel Hill studio The Rubber Room for two-day sessions. Longtime North Carolina confidants and collaborators James Wallace, Jeff Crawford, and Casey Toll form the rhythm section, while Mountain Man’s Molly Sarlé harmonizes softly and adds a filigree of unexpected flute. Other friends offer fiddle and percussion, cello and extra guitar, softly padding songs that stand as statements unto themselves. “Sitting down with an acoustic instrument and making a song, singing, and playing it was the idea,” says Gustafson. “I’ll follow a song to wherever it goes, but I tried to keep this one in the room. This sounds like what we played, what you’re hearing.” These ten songs are snapshots in time, then, glimpses at the sorts of emotional upheavals and adjustments we’re all forced to face as we move from day to day and, as in Gustafson’s way, place to place. The familiar sounds of Unsung Passage, a reflection of Americana bedrock, present a comforting
AEG & The Ark Present

The Wood Brothers, The Dead Tongues

Tue Apr 7 2020 7:00 PM Doors

Majestic Theatre Detroit MI
The Wood Brothers, The Dead Tongues
  • Due to the recent mandate by the State of Michigan, this event has been postponed. More information on the new date will be sent to ticket holders as soon as possible.

POSTPONED All Ages

The Wood Brothers have partnered with Thistle Farms so that $1 from every ticket sold will go towards helping women survivors recover and heal from trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. Thistle Farms is a nonprofit social enterprise based in Nashville, TN, providing a safe place to live, a meaningful job, and a lifelong sisterhood of support. For more info, visit https://thistlefarms.org/pages/our-mission.