The musical influences on the three of us are diverse, (from Cajun to Rock), but the common thread which defines of our music is bluegrass.
The rhythmic discipline, the focus on the off-beat and the importance of good vocals are all ‘high priority’ for us.
Chris Davis, who runs ‘The Famous Willows’ folk club in Arundel, West Sussex has used expressions like “Relaxed ease with each other” and “Wonderful chemistry” to describe our performances. He has also, very kindly, commented that we have “Knocked everybody’s socks off with airtight harmonies, David’s up-beat guitar, Clare’s solid bass rhythms and Pat’s instrumental wizardry on dobro and mandolin”.
Being a family band helps us in all sorts of ways and gives us a real feel for the origins of the musical forms we love.
It’s not easy to pigeonhole our music because of the many influences which shape it. What matters is whether or not you like it.
Our sound has been described as a blend of folk, bluegrass, acoustic Americana and original material.
It is drawn from a wide range of sources - from ‘traditional’ to ‘The Rolling Stones’; primarily with origins in the USA, but with no small measure of ‘home-grown’.
Influences (not an exhaustive list)
From Willie Nelson to Lyle Lovett; taking in Patty Loveless, Steve Earl, John Prine and many more.
Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, all the brother acts (Louvins, Delmores etc.) and, of course, the Carter Family. Stories of life; shaped around the remnants of mournful Scottish airs, shanties and Irish reels. Mix and match these with a dash of the blues and essence of The Appalachian Mountains. Put all this in the masterly hands of Tim O’Brien, Darryl Scott and many others. What comes out is probably the largest influence on our musical mix.
It’s hard to tell where country stops and bluegrass starts. For our money, bluegrass is a very formulaic version of country; - with the rawness and bluesy rough edges replaced by a musical framework with a distinctive, almost clinical feel. If you remove the excessive speed and unmistakable clatter from the Scruggs-style banjo picking, you’re left with a style that can be detected ‘peeping out’ of the Wood Wire & Words sound - if you squint!