|Western Pennsylvania guitarist singer-songwriter Tim Woods continues to wear his influences on his sleeve for his fourth solo album, For You, set for release July 7, 2023. The ten new tracks run the gamut of styles from blues to folk, rock to ethereal jam band psychedelia with shades of Van Morrison, The Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Peter Green, and The Doors. Recording in Georgia with old friend, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, Bobby Lee Rodgers, along with stellar players Paul Hornsby on organ and saxophonist Erik Lawrence. Woods picks up where his previous albums left off on his quest for personal growth and musical exploration.
The Chicago and L.A blues mash up, “Can’t Stop Rockin’,” opens the album with a furious two beat stomp while Woods confesses his addiction to the muse. The swinging title track, “For You,” is a rollicking number that twists and turns like a rickety tilt-a-whirl carnival ride. A heavy 70’s styled guitar pushes the message of hope and peace in “Are You Kind?” The easy flowing four on the floor rock ballad, “It’s True,” speaks of self-renewal and the power of forgiveness. The funky instrumental, “Mimic,” pays homage to jam band originators, The Allman Brothers Band, with slick interplay between Woods’ guitar and B3 from Rodgers.
Woods reflects on the aftermath of the Covid lockdown on the deep grooving “Low Down Blues.” He then pushes the emotional envelope on the stirring epic “Believe,” urging us all to keep pushing on. The slow burning “Reaching Out” pulsates with hungry desire and psychedelic soul. Woods embarks on another journey during the expansive tome “The Story,” a spacey sonic that conjures up middle eastern mysticism in a modern rock setting. The final offering is the acoustic driven “Within,” a romantic reminiscence of a magical night.
Rick J Bowen
Originally from Western Pennsylvania – where he remains a fixture of the music scene – Tim grew up in a virtual “melting pot” of music. Having older brothers expose him to a wide array of styles, including jazz, blues, bluegrass and rock, Tim’s appreciation for all music took root at an early age. During his formative years, this admiration grew into a deep love of the blues of Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Tim first began performing as a professional with improvisational rock ‘n’ roll bands – long before the “jam band” genre became as widespread and popular as it is today – playing psychedelic blues and, oftentimes, jamming with local players. When Tim turned 18, his family moved to Macon, Georgia. It was in Macon where his immersion in the legendary music scene had a profound and lasting impact on him. Working at a local nightclub promoting and coordinating appearances of national acts, Tim formed lifelong friendships.
These inspirations have each shaped his playing and songwriting throughout his career, and today are at the heart of Tim’s sound. Tim was greatly influenced by his guitar instructor, Ernie Hawkins, an honored Pittsburgh blues musician and world-renowned master of the complicated picking and style of the Reverend Gary Davis, known as the Piedmont fingerstyle. But it’s Tim’s unique and truly original style – in which he plays and picks using his thumb – that enables him to distinguish himself by playing both lead and rhythm while interchanging chords and licks.
Over the years, Tim has shared the stage with many well-known musicians and opened for music greats like Sonny Landreth and Donna Godcheaux (former member of the Grateful Dead). He frequently performs alongside his great friend George Frayne (a.k.a. Commander Cody) and his band who even played at Tim’s wedding. Tim also recently performed with legendary musician Mick Fleetwood and the House Shakers at Fleetwood’s in Maui. From 2002-2009, Tim was a founding member of The Mountain Jam Band that built a regional following playing blues-based jam band rock in the style of The Allman Brothers, the Grateful Dead, and others. Unfortunately, they disbanded due to the passing of a key member, although the friendships remain, and they continue to play together.
In June 2005, Tim had the opportunity to meet and spend an intimate musical evening with legendary delta blues artists David “Honey Boy” Edwards, Homesick James, Sam Lay and Pinetop Perkins. He was so inspired by their soul and sound that he devoted himself to recording a musical tribute to these legendary masters of the Delta Blues. Nearly three decades after his original trip, Tim found himself back in Georgia during a session tour throughout the blues basin working on his debut release. “The Blues Sessions,” is the realization of a deep and personal commitment to share with others the art and spirit of these seminal musicians. Tim Woods “The Blues Sessions” was recorded during a six-month studio tour of Clarksdale, Atlanta, and Chicago, and features 16 guest musicians, including legendary artists David “Honeyboy ” Edwards, Big Jack Johnson, John Primer, Bob Stroger, Bobby Lee Rodgers, and Jeff Sipe.
Tim’s dedication to the blues reaped great personal reward in 2012, when he was inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame, culminating with an all-star ceremony at the legendary Kenny’s Castaways in New York City. “Having my work celebrated with such a prestigious award was very important to me and brings great personal honor,” Tim reflects. Finding such inspiration at every corner, Tim released his second album, “Human Race” in 2018 and his third, “Vortex” in 2020. With a repertoire of more than 200 songs, Tim performs regionally and nationally in various configurations, including solo shows, trios and his five-piece band, The Tim Woods Band. He also takes great family pride in performing regularly as part of The Woods Family Band with his two sons, Derek, and Ryan. Tim strongly believes in musicians supporting other musicians and cherishes the moments that he shares on stage with other artists and friends.