The Wood Brothers

Kingdom in My Mind

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"Alabaster" kicks off Kingdom in My Mind, the Wood Brothers' eighth studio album, with a slow, thick groove, its swampiness a reflection of how the album originated from a series of studio jams. The band didn't enter the studio with the intent of recording a new album, but they were taken with the results of their recording, so brothers Chris and Oliver Wood shaped the improvisations into songs. Starting with a collection of funky rustic recordings wound up being a boon to the Wood Brothers, letting Kingdom in My Mind establish a vibe that's cozy, homespun, and just slightly slick. Chalk the polish up to how the group are veterans with a good sense of space and feel, a knack that they're pushing on Kingdom in My Mind over tasteful songcraft. This doesn't mean that the songs don't stick -- many do after repeated listens -- but the appeal of the album is how the Wood Brothers offer up their own spin on a fusion of the Band, the Allmans, and the Dead, sometimes cranking up the guitars, sometimes pushing busy rhythms, but they always stay focused on their influences and have created an album that's warm, welcoming, and relaxing.

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