Wood & Wire: “Mexico”

You do enough forensic work, and you’ll discover that American popular music, from Delta blues to death metal, comes down to one unifying force: the sound of a piece of wire strung on a block of wood. That’s it. Everything else is just bells and whistles. A local bluegrass group realized this, and that’s why they called themselves, simply, Wood & Wire.

Austin’s had its share of bluegrass and americana acts in its day, so its true we can afford to be a bit choosy. But it’s also true that the cream eventually does rise to the top, and when you’re as good as Wood & Wire, it happens pretty quickly. The group is mandolin player Matt Slusher (a founding member of the South Austin Jug Band), Dom Fisher on bass and Tony Kamel on guitar. Banjo player Trevor Smith joined up (officially) in March 2012. Since they formed in fall 2011, the band’s racked up performances all over Central Texas, including a month-long residency at The Cactus Cafe.

A few weeks back Wood & Wire made their second Studio 1A appearance. The performed a few tunes, including the lead track off their just-released, self-titled debut. The song, “Mexico,” is a big, greasy, bluegrass wallop. It moves at breakneck pace, and showcases Wood & Wire’s rare ability to strike a balance between blazing virtuosity and barefoot authenticity. They breath new life into a classic runnin’ for the border tale. All this from four dudes, some strings of wire and a few blocks of wood.

You can catch Wood & Wire this Saturday at Hops & Grain Craft Brewery as a part of MapJam 2013, a daylong festival celebrating Austin music. Presented by the Austin Music Map, KUTX, and the City of Austin Music Division, MapJam 2013 features some of our favorite local bands at some of our favorite local venues, playing everything from bluegrass to hip-hop and conjunto to rockabilly.

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