Show Reviews


Tuesday February 20, 2024

@ The Basement in Nashville, TN

(Review Written By: Jeffrey Kurtis)

As Nashville continues reshaping its most famous neon lit street into party central, the simplicity of venues like The Basement have become that much more prevalent as the sought-after spaces for music aficionados who simply want to soak in a live music atmosphere.

Surrounded by walls lined in its history as told though the stickers and posters adorning the names of the bands who’ve previously called this stage home, the “Cellarful of Noise” offered its throwback aura as a perfect accent to hot rising trio The Woods this past Tuesday night.

Since 2021, Dan O'Rourke, Raquel Cole, and Leland Rooney have fused their unique characteristics into a sound enriched in a three-layered harmony that expertly binds together the storyteller essence of country music with the folksy, roots rock vibe of the late 1960’s.

With their debut single “World’s On Fire” having quickly turned heads when it garnered high position on the Music Row Country Breakout Chart, this past year has seen the group further crafting their distinctive sound on “Time Well Spent,” “Road Trippin’” and “Lovin You Lovin’ Me,” culminating in a recent invite to join Tim McGraw on his ‘Standing Room Only Tour.”

In what acted as a preview of those upcoming dates, the trio fine-tuned their set at the OG Basement with a stellar showing that not only secured their tag as one to watch, but created a buzz within the whispers that foretold of how they might just be the act to completely steal the show.

Laced in harmonica and swirled in a driving groove, “Make It Easy” opened their 40-minute set and instantly captured the entire room, pulling the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd into its toe tapping beat and feel-good essence as their signature harmonies soared amongst a bevy of approving applause.

“Thank you everyone for being here tonight,” graciously exclaimed O’Rourke. “We didn’t think that there’d be this many people here,” he said with a big smile as “Worlds On Fire” instigated an eruptive sing along while heads bopped in rhythm with the familiarity of the melody and cheers followed the insatiable guitar shreds that slapped the atmosphere late in the song.

By slowing the pace into the winter formal tinged “Same Boat,” it allowed the innocent edges of Raquel’s lead vocal to take over and subdue the crowd into a trance like gaze, providing perfect segue to her leading roll on a wonderfully crafted cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love,” which skillfully added just the right touches of uniqueness to reimagine the smash hit as their own.

With a Southwestern flare dusting both “If You Really Love Me” and “Rancho De La Oso,” The Woods added an intriguing new layer to their overall fabrication as they masterfully wove perfect juxtaposition between the moody mystery of the love me/love me not lyric of the former, while souping up a honky-tonk/boot heel clicking rhythm on the latter.

Through the rhythm induced groove of “Do Some Lovin’,” Cole drove a confident sass into the tilts of her voice as she hit straight down the middle of catchy guitar licks that rock and rolled their way through the flight of harmony and the popping of bass slaps.

As “My Tribe” wrapped around a 1970’s soul embellished sound, The Woods not only provided another intriguing layer of their arsenal, but they raised a heartfelt toast to their fans with a very appreciative nod that spawned a peaceful unity as the crowd and the group stood together as one in a showstopping, clap along moment the carried the melody of the final chorus.

“There’s always someplace to be in Nashville…and thank you for making us your place to be tonight,” Dan spoke with gratitude as they bookended their set with “Good Thing,” leaving a lasting, feel-good impression through groove laden guitars, a harmonica laced melody, and a final blast of harmony that stamped an exclamation point on the definitive answer to the question they’ve tagged on their social media handles, “Who Are The Woods?”

1) Make It Easy
2) World's In Fire
3) Same Boat
4) Higher Love (Steve Winwood cover)
5) If You Really Love Me
6) Rancho De La Osa
7) Do Some Lovin
8) My Tribe
9) Good Thing  




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