The Fretboard Journal is pleased to premiere the single “Roadie’s Circles” from Wood & Wire’s forthcoming second album, No Matter Where It Goes from Here (out August 28, 2020 on Blue Corn Music). On this hard-driving instrumental track, the Grammy-nominated bluegrass quartet is joined by special guest Peter Rowan, who adds his trademark yodel to the song.
Wood & Wire’s banjo player Trevor Smith talked to us about the making of this memorable track. “I wrote the A section to the song years ago on the guitar,” he recalls. “Once I started figuring out how to play it on the banjo, that led me to writing the B section. I sat on it a long time, but once I brought it to the band, we started extrapolating how we could change the arrangement around.”
As for Rowan’s contribution? Wood & Wire’s Billy Bright played with Rowan for several years. He made the connection. “One day Billy sent me a version of the song with Rowan singing on it,” Smith says. “I absolutely loved it. I always loved how on Bela Fleck’s Drive there’s a song called ‘The Legend’ where Rowan is yodeling in the background. That’s what it reminded me of.”
Smith typically plays a mid-‘90s Rich & Taylor Sonny Osborne banjo that he’s had since he was a teenager. On this track, he was utilizing a borrowed mid-‘90s custom Gibson Grenada / RB-3 hybrid.
Before our call ends, Smith mentions one other No Matter Where It Goes from Here fact that shows how much fun Wood & Wire are having pushing the boundaries of bluegrass. “On this album, we did a lot of playing through mics that we were running re-amped through old Fender Twins and Vox amps,” he recalls… “just to get a weird, twisted sound on everything. But for this song, we kept this more straightforward; it was just a more involved instrumental tune.”
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