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AAA Music | 18 September 2021

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AAA Music Approved: Willow & Wood

| On 29, Dec 2020

Who are you and where are you from?

We are Willow & Wood, a folk-noir duo based in Nashville TN. Willow & Wood is comprised of Willow Scrivner and Kevin Wood, a married couple who moved to Nashville from Seattle, settling into Music City and finding a natural new home in the Americana and roots community. 

What inspired you to get into music?  

Music has always been a part of my life…I grew up in the church and was constantly surrounded by gospels and old hymns.  My father was an avid collector of country records, and I spent countless hours with my ear pressed to the tweed speakers, surrounded by record sleeves. Beyond the influences of my childhood, there has been the music of Nick Drake, Cowboy Junkies, Nina Simone, Emmy Lou Harris, Neko Case, Gillian and Dave, Big Thief, Mazzy Star…really so many amazing artists that have influenced myself.  And that’s not even scratching the surface of the rock-n-roll, art rock, and jazz that Kevin grew up with!

What have you done?  

Most recently we’ve recorded our new record, ‘Tornadoes In My Head’ with producer Dex Green (Elizabeth Cook, Heather Gillis, Derek Hoke, Awestruck, Collective Soul).  We celebrated the digital release Nov 16th, and will be celebrating the vinyl release in December! So excited for our first vinyl!

What are you like live?  

Live we are kind of a cross between the dark-dreamy-rock-feel of Mazzy Star combined with the acoustic intimacy of Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings.                     

We’ve toured throughout the Pacific Northwest and Southwest, as well as smattering of tours through the South since moving. We’ve been fortunate enough to play folk festivals, rock clubs, house concerts, wineries, and art galleries, and theatres.                 

One of my favorite memories was when we opened for Chris Isaak at the Pier in Seattle…it was such an amazing crowd, the sun was setting over the Sound, and we were high off the release of our first record together!   We love performing live, but perhaps our most loved performance space is the intimacy of a house concert!  Being without live music is one of the things that is hardest for me about our life in the midst of a pandemic.  Although, on the flip side, it’s been really fun to do live-streaming shows and connect with our fans, friends, and family across the country!

What makes you different?  

I’d like to think perhaps one of the things that make Willow & Wood different is that while our music leans towards the dark, it is shot through with the glimmer of hope. While we have musical influences, we’re also deeply influenced by nature and travel, by spirituality, by each other.  We aren’t trying to sound or be like anyone else. We just want to create our song, and hope it finds a home in someone’s heart.

Physical vs Downloading vs Streaming…How do you listen to music? 

I use all platforms to listen to music…my favorite way, however, is vinyl.  I love everything about it! The smell, the sound when the needle hits the groove, listening to an album in its entirety the way the artist envisioned it. But I totally dig the ability to put on headphones with randomly selected music playing in my ears while I wander the streets.  It is deflating how much – or I should say how little – the artists receive from streaming platforms.  It’s that whole question of balancing “exposer” and actually getting paid for our art.

I think Bandcamp is doing something really great for artists with there “Bandcamp Fridays” during this pandemic.  The first Friday of the month they forgo their cut of sales.  This has been fundamentally supportive for us with the pre-ordering of our vinyl.  Being able to keep the sales for our art makes a huge difference…and I’ve found our fans have been eager to support us that way. 

What have you been listening to?  

Oh man, we have been listening to so much music lately, across all genres!  Wood has been going steadily down a Bossa Nova and Samba rabbit hole pretty much since the shutdown.  And I’ve dug deep into my 90’s favorites like The Innocence Mission, The Sundays,Lauryn Hill. We’ve also been falling in love with some new 2020 music from Kyshona Armstrong, Deep Sea Diver, The Bird and The Bear, Big Thief, Kate Tucker, Elizabeth Elkins, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, just to name a few.  (Favourite new albums, new discoveries, etc)

What are your aspirations for the future?   

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for live music.  We’d love to tour internationally. We’d love to dive into the world of placements and soundtrack work.  I’d love to lead a songwriting retreat in Rome!  It would be fun to record an entire record with just acoustic instruments…maybe in a cabin up in the Smokies while we are still Southern bound.  I do know that at some point in the future we will be returning to the NW to be closer to our families. 2300 hundred miles is a long way to be from your mamas and papa for five years.  But for now, we are trying to soak up as much of that Southern, sultry humidity and hospitality while we can! 

Questions answered by: Willow of Willow & Wood…