Long admired for the roots influence they combine with a wide experimental streak and exemplary musicianship, the Wood Brothers are back in action on February 2nd with their sixth studio set, One Drop of Truth.
For the first time, the trio drifts effortlessly (but not aimlessly) between styles as diverse as plaintive country folk and electrified blues funk, with Oliver Wood (guitars), Chris Wood (bass) and multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix toying with unrelated ideas as never before.
One standout example of that freed-up creativity is the track "Happiness Jones," the intriguing black-and-white video for which Rolling Stone Country is premiering above. Filmed in the basement of The Studio in Nashville where the album was recorded, the clip features a kooky arthouse-meets-Dr. Strangelove aesthetic, but the highlight of the clip has to be the freeform dance freakout Chris Wood delivers as Oliver stands stone-faced at the mic.
"Someone suggested I do some 'interpretive dancing' for the video, along the lines of the little improvised dance I do for the live show," Chris explains. "I enjoy moving to music so we tried to capture that in the video."
"Happiness Jones," as its title suggests, mixes unbounded exuberance with a big dose of Americana soul. But despite the upbeat, fun presentation, the song actually highlights an odd reality: that when you think about it, happiness is not really a helpful state of being.
"'Happiness Jones' is a playful song, but with a tinge of cynicism," lead singer Oliver explains. "It actually honors the value of UN-happiness. It's something we take for granted, but most of our personal transformations come from when we hit bottom. That's how we get in shape, get sober or get spiritual, etc. These days we're all addicted to the idea of being and staying happy – but there's gotta be an ebb and flow."
The Wood Brothers are on tour through throughout the spring, with two-night stands scheduled for The Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. (January 26th and 27th), Irving Plaza in New York City (January 31st and February 1st), The Fillmore in San Francisco (February 24th and 25th) and The Vic Theatre in Chicago (April 13th and 14th), plus shows at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville (March 17th) and Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheater in support of Devil Makes Three (May 25th).