Willow trees have pliant, tough wood and slender branches with large fibrous roots. The roots of the willow are known for their remarkable strength and tenacity. Willows are often planted on the borders of streams so their interlacing roots can protect the bank against the action of the water. Frequently, the roots are much larger than the stems which grows from them. The willow also has a long history of medicinal use.
The state of Oklahoma has a new duo, Wood Willow, with well established bluegrass roots that is reaching for the heights of the string music scene.
Bluegrass music is at the roots of this duet, as Joel Parks plays the banjo for Oklahoma-based band, Steelwind, which is led by Joel’s brother, Blake. Joel contributes his talent on harmonizing, banjo, and rattlin’ those bones. Becca Herrod, also a member of Steelwind, harmonizes perfectly, heals your soul with her vocals, and contributes with her musical instrumental on the mandolin.
One night, Joel had a vivid dream and when he awoke the next morning he had this tee shirt idea on his mind. On the front it said “WOOD” while on the back it said “WILLOW.” With no reasoning behind the phrases, Parks mentioned to Herrod that he thought that would be a good name for a band. But wait, they didn’t have a band, or at least that wasn’t in their plan. Parks had an interest in learning how to play the mandolin, so Herrod stepped in and became his instructor. It wasn’t too long before Parks & Herrod formed their own band, and Wood Willow was born.
While their own band is still on the horizon, this pair of excellent musicians are well established in the bluegrass world in the Midwest.
Steelwind is Adam Davis (reso-guitar), Joel Parks (banjo, vocals), Kenny Parks (bass, vocals), Becca Herrod (mandolin, vocals), Blake Parks (fiddle, vocals), and Michael Henneberry (acoustic guitar, vocals). Steelwind is hot, leaving a blazing trail of bluegrass throughout the midwest. A single, My Baby’s Gone was released earlier in 2019, and there is a new album, Blue, is now available online.
As natural as willow-made home remedies, as natural as aspirin… Wood Willow rings true as medicine for your soul.