The balance of darkness and light is at the heart of Kingdom In My Mind, The Wood Brothers’ seventh studio release and their most spontaneous and experimental collection yet. Recorded over a series of freewheeling, improvised sessions, the record is a reckoning with circumstance, mortality, and human nature, one that finds strength in accepting what lies beyond our control. Thoughtfully honing in on the bittersweet beauty that underlies our doubt and pain, the songs grapple with the power of our external surroundings to shape our internal worlds (and vice versa) through vivid character studies and unflinching self-examination. The lyrics dig deep here, but the arrangements always manage to remain buoyant, drawing from across a broad sonic spectrum to create a transportive, effervescent listening experience that’s indicative of 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 Wood, 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.” 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 Award-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.”
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This week, James Dalton talks about his beloved parks and more!