The Wood Brothers - College Street Music Hall - New Haven, CT 6/13/23
Updated: Oct 31
Over the years, the Wood Brothers have come through CT on a number of occasions. To be honest, it seemed like maybe a night that wasn't going to happen. But when a friend called with a last minute ticket, it seemed like fate. Sometimes those last minute plans have a way of being the most rewarding.
The evening started with some very pleasant cocktails and apps outdoors at Te Amo Tequila with friends new and old.
Over the last few years, the New Haven music scene has really started to flourish, and College Street Music Hall has really led the way. With a steady stream of indie, folk, roots, and rock shows....they have done a fantastic job of bringing great shows - often midweek in between larger venues in New York and Boston, into New Haven.
We entered mid-way through opening act Shovels and Rope - a husband and wife duo who can each play drums and guitar. They switched instruments half way through their set. Check out their song "Birmingham" for a taste of their style.
The Wood Brothers - brothers Chris and Oliver, along with drummer Jamo, have an extensive catalogue of music to draw on. They mixed in powerful older songs ("the Muse", "Postcards From Hell", "Wastin' My Mind") with material from their solid latest album 'Pilgrim'. The best of those songs included opener "Between the Beats", where Oliver "draws upon a meditation technique — maintaining one's focus on the space between heartbeats — to reach a new level of presence", the title track "Pilgrim" and the excellent "Rollin On" are also standouts. In my mind the Wood Brothers are at their best when Oliver sings, his voice is unique and powerful. One of the highlights of the evening came when Shovels and Rope joined the band for a cover of John Prine's "That's the Way the World Goes Round".
As the set drew to a close, the band saved one of their best for last. "Luckiest Man" is a song of resilience, about staying optimistic when the chips are against you.
Running is useless and fighting is foolish
You're not gonna win but still you're the luckiest man you're up against
And too many horses and mysterious forces
What you don't know is you are the luckiest man
You're the luckiest man