Grass That Goes Against the Grain: Wood & Wire


In 2018, the four piece group Wood & Wire was nominated for a Grammy award for their album North of Despair. Since their four members had come up playing styles like jazz and punk rock, of course they would find themselves in a band on the verge of winning nationwide recognition as a bluegrass band — from that hotbed of the genre, Austin Texas no less. Somehow, two plus two equals five with Wood & Wire, and here they are, carving out a niche that seems as unlikely as it is fortunate.

Wood & Wire

Wood & Wire

In this episode, singer and guitarist Tony Kamel and mandolin player Billy Bright talk about updating and spinning the old murder ballad “Darlin’ Corey” into their song “Pigs”, bringing in Peter Rowan for a tune, how growing up in Houston did not feel like growing up in the South at all, and how growing up in El Paso could easily be thought of as growing up somewhere not at all in Texas. That is just part of what they have to say, and of course, we feature some music from the band’s fourth studio album No Matter Where It Goes from Here.

Wood & Wire album cover for  No Matter Where It Goes From Here

Wood & Wire album cover for No Matter Where It Goes From Here

Thanks for dropping by Southern Songs and Stories, and I hope you might tell a friend about this endeavor. You can subscribe to this series on your podcast platform of choice, and it helps even more when you give it a good rating and a review. Great ratings, and reviews especially, will make Southern Songs and Stories and the artists it profiles more visible to more people just like you. Southern Songs and Stories is a part of the podcast lineup of both public radio WNCW and Osiris Media, with all of the Osiris shows available here. You can also hear new episodes of this podcast on Bluegrass Planet Radio here. Thanks to Sean Rubin for the audio of my call with Tony and Billy, and to Corrie Askew for producing the radio adaptations of this series on public radio WNCW. This is Southern Songs and Stories: the music of the South and the artists who make it.   – Joe Kendrick

Songs heard in this episode:

“Clamp’s Chute” by Wood & Wire from No Matter Where It Goes From Here, excerpt 

“Pigs” by Wood & Wire from No Matter Where It Goes From Here, excerpt

“Roadie’s Circles” by Wood & Wire from No Matter Where It Goes From Here, excerpt

[“My Hometown” by Wood & Wire from No Matter Where It Goes From Here]