Album Review | Blue Corn Music | Review by Liam Wilkinson
One of the great things about modern country outfits is that you get to pick out the many influences that have gone into the making of their music. Listening to No Matter Where It Goes From Here, the latest album by Texas-based foursome Wood & Wire, is like sipping a well-aged bluegrass wine, with its notes of Bill Monroe and Peter Rowan, its aromas of Ricky Skaggs and Bela Fleck and its hints of Tim O’Brien and Tony Rice. But what makes a truly great country band – which is what Wood & Wire absolutely are – is their ability to take those ingredients and give us something new. Indeed, to see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savour this, the band’s fifth album since their 2013 debut, is to generously indulge one’s palette.
But enough of the metaphors. Let’s just get blind drunk on this outstanding collection of songs which moves from the cheerful trickle of “John” and “Can’t Keep Up”, with their hot banjo and creamy harmonies, to more adventurous and bewitching takes such as “My Hometown” and the haunting “Roadies Circle” which shows off its influences by including an appearance from the great Peter Rowan himself.
The best is saved until last, however, as the nine-minute instrumental “Clamp’s Chute” shows off the band’s outstanding musicianship. Tony Kamel’s acoustic guitar shimmers, Dominic Fisher’s double bass purrs like an engine, Trevor Smith’s banjo is wild and exploratory whilst Billy Bright’s mandolin manages to go where no such little instruments have gone before. There’s no doubting that No Matter Where It Goes From Here is good to the last drop.