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C. Taylor Crothers

The Wood Brothers’ Oliver Wood shares his familial influences.

“When you have family members making music together, there’s always something unique about that dynamic,” says singer-guitarist Oliver Wood (pictured above, at right). “There’s obviously a story behind the connection that goes all the way back to the womb.” And he should know: Oliver is one half of the roots-Americana combo the Wood Brothers, which also features his younger brother Chris, of Medeski Martin & Wood fame. On the heels of the release of their fourth album, Smoke Ring Halo, we asked Oliver to offer up a few of his favorite family outfits.
The Smothers Brothers
“In the Smothers’ case, it’s more of a comedy thing, yet they’re great musicians and great entertainers. It’s interesting how they put a funny angle on the sibling relationship.”

The Staple Singers
“The ultimate family band. Pops Staples is a huge guitar influence [of mine]. And, of course, Mavis Staples is just amazing. Probably one of our favorite groups that we listen to when we’re on the road.”

The Avett Brothers
“I like their raw intensity and how their voices commingle in such a cool way and blend so well, even though they’re not going for a slick thing. They have this old-fashioned sound but a really young energy.”