Wood Box Heroes – 444

What began as Josh Martin’s backing band for a series of acoustic shows in the Midwest, has morphed into an eclectic supergroup with a wide range of influences. 444the first full length release from this outfit, Wood Box Heroes, demonstrates their strong combination of original lyricism and outside the box musicianship.

The opening track, Cross the Line, was written by Martin. The jazz and newgrass influences are clear from the first few notes of Matt Menefee’s banjo intro. The lyrics speak of soothing the pain after the heartbreaking end of a relationship. Along with Martin on guitar and vocals and Menefee on banjo, the group also consists of Jenee Fleenor on fiddle and vocals, and Barry Bales on bass and vocals. Though mandolinist Seth Taylor has since left the Wood Box Heroes, he also makes some strong contributions to this album.

Cannonball, co-authored by Bales and Chris Stapleton, is a slow and somewhat dark song with metaphorical imagery of physical destruction to symbolize the unraveling of one’s romance.

Better When We’re Livin by Josh Martin is a complete contrast to the aforementioned track. With positive lyrics about one’s day to day life combined with a swingy upbeat melody, it’s a really wonderful song that’ll surely become an earworm for anyone who hears it.

Piece of the Peace also by Martin, follows a similar path of positivity with a message of finding, and continually searching for peace, in one’s current circumstances.

Five of the tracks including the instrumental title track, No. 444 were all previously released on the group’s self-titled debut EP. All five selections fit well within the context of this album. This Train in particular is the perfect track to follow Cross the Line.

444 is a release filled with creativity and inspiring musicianship. The Wood Box Heroes are another brilliant example of five strong talents coming together to create something captivating and unique.

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About the Author

Braeden Paul

Braeden Paul has been involved in various capacities of bluegrass music. A Texas native, Paul has been part of several Dallas-based bands as a mandolinist. He also serves on the board of directors of the Southwest Bluegrass Club in Grapevine, TX. As a writer, Braeden has also contributed numerous music reviews to the Bluegrass Society of America Facebook page, and is the co-author of Texas Bluegrass History: High Lonesome on the High Plains.