Any time a new all star configuration arrives on the scene, lots of buzz and excitement tends to generate. This would certainly be the case with the Wood Box Heroes, a newly formed supergroup consisting of some of bluegrass and Americana music’s greatest talents. The band’s self-titled debut EP consists of five original songs which are performed at an incredibly high level.
The opening track Made Up My Mind was penned by guitarist Josh Martin. The lyrics are centered around coming to terms with life’s actualities while also maintaining positivity about what lies ahead. It’s a nicely crafted piece that suits the group well.
The Way Of The Whippoorwill was co-written by fiddler Jenee Fleenor and Ronnie Bowman. This soft and mellow piece demonstrates Fleenor’s clear, emotional vocal delivery. After hearing, it’s difficult to imagine anyone else singing this song.
No. 444 is an instrumental that involves all of the Wood Box Heroes, both in a compositional and performance sense. The group which consists of Fleenor on fiddle, Martin on guitar, Barry Bales on bass, Seth Taylor on mandolin, and Matt Menefee on banjo, are all incredibly skilled instrumentalists in their own right. This track masterfully demonstrates each of those individual abilities.
The EP closes with This Train, an intense bluesy piece co-written by Fleenor, Martin, and the legendary Jim “Moose” Brown. The use of metaphors within the lyrics are absolutely brilliant. It’s completely fresh and original. None of the typical tropes about trains can be found here.
The Wood Box Heroes have everything going for them. The band consists of highly acclaimed talent, and as evidenced in this debut project, their material is largely grounded in freshness and authenticity. It’s a winning combination that has myself and hopefully other listeners asking for more.