Wildwood has won these honors:
Winner: NAMA 2003 "Best New Band" and "Best Americana/Folk"
Winner: OMA 2003 "Best Accoustic/Folk Band"
"Best Stringed Instrument Player"
"Album of the Year" (Lonesome Hideaway)
"Song of the Year" (Buffalo Joe)
Runner-up: NAMA 2003 "Band of the Year"
Runner-up: OMA 2003 "Band of the Year" and
Runner-up: OMA 2002 "Best New Band"
2003 MEIC Folk Alliance: Showcasing Artist
2003 MEIC Folk Alliance: CD Selection - "Civil War"
WHAT IS WILDWOOD?
Let's face it, there is very little to get excited about in the modern musical landscape. Every rock band sounds like Creed, every pop singer sounds like Brittany, and the days when Hip-hop had something original to say are long gone. Many of us find ourselves looking for something different, something that breaks the formula and opens up new possibilities.
Its not a new dilemma, really. Popular music regularly experiences periods of 'flat line,' and interestingly, each of these periods precedes an explosion of creativity and inspiration. Witness the desolation before Elvis; the barren landscape the Beatles landed in. A spark becomes a fire, the fire a conflagration, and before you know it the world explodes into joyful music.
Ironically, these periods of musical invigoration are often brought about by the rediscovery of older modes of music. A new generation unearths the muse of the past and brings it back to life, breathing into it the spirit of a new age. Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Doors, and Led Zeppelin, to name only a few, all made their mark in the world by taking music forms from the near or distant past and crafting them into something original and new.
If it's true that we are at one of those low points, then the question becomes, 'What's next?' There is a band emerging in Fayetteville, Arkansas that believes they have the answer. The name of the band is Wildwood, and they have gained a large following in their hometown by developing a new take on bluegrass music. Their music is at times lightning fast, with the white-hot notes of mandolin and banjo striking sparks against the syncopated thunder of the guitar and bass. At other times the music slows, and piercing three and four part harmonies take you literally out of your body and into the music. They draw upon a wide variety of influences and the result is something unexpected and delightful. They've taken English sea shanties, Irish folk songs, early American mining songs, fiddle tunes, old-timey classics, funk, hip-hop, reggae, rock-n-roll, and bluegrass and molded them into an exciting, emotional, and thoroughly danceable new music genre. In less than eight months, they have built a surprising following in their home-town of Fayetteville.
They have been featured prominently in all of the local print media, and are touring both regionaly and in the western states.
Wildwood's CD release party sold out two consecutive shows at Chester's, a major downtown venue. 550+ people attended, and over 150 CDs were sold in the first week.
Twins Pat and Joe Villines can trace their Ozark roots back seven generations. Having played since age ten, they both have a history rich in music. Pat plays upright bass and guitar but he truly excels at mandolin. A disciple of the Grissman jazz-funk style, he enjoys pushing the crowd to new heights with his lightning riffs. Joe also plays bass and guitar, but his chosen instrument is the banjo. He plays in an unconventional 'Rock and Roll' style that really gets people dancing. The twins have a natural feel for each other's harmonies, rhythms, and changes.
Guitarist Jason Payton, hailing from rural Indiana, plays a syncopated, backbeat rhythm that makes people itch to dance. His solo style is also unconventional, and all heads turn when he picks one out. His rhythms are a big part of the boys' original sound.
Bassist Robin Rues is a long-time devotee of bluegrass. His Texas band 'Loose Gravel' played in the Denton area through the early nineties. After graduating from the University of North Texas, he moved to an Eskimo village to teach high school. His base style is straightforward and powerful, and he also plays guitar and mandolin.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Beware of Girl
2. Muddy Travels
3. Civil War
4. Ricky Likes It Fast
5. Raising Hell
6. Lonesome Hideaway
7. Paul's Reel / Deep Sea
8. Buffalo Joe
9. Running Creek
10. Friends & Moms
11. Drive Me Wild
12. Hot Wire
14. I'll Fly Away