Tonic - the new album by
The Woods Family
Exactly what the world needs right now
Meet the players!
Rab has been drawn to music since he could toddle into his older brothers’ room to play with their toy guitar and accordion. Encouraging his natural talent, his father bought a piano, and soon he could pick out TV jingles by ear.
Preferring music to maths lessons, his brief affairs with the xylophone, recorder and French horn eventually led him to his true love- the guitar. They say practise makes perfect, so from the age of 18, Rab spent every spare hour honing his craft- first with folk fingerpicking, then by learning entire Rush and Led Zeppelin albums. A friend, impressed with his versatility, invited him to join a jazz ensemble.
Rab was officially hooked, and through the years, branched out into other instruments and genres, picking up the mandolin, mandola, banjo, harmonica, dobro, and most recently, the whistle. He is renowned on the local trad scene and has performed all over the world, from Eastern Europe to the USA.
His popular Americana group, The Hollow Mountain String Band, is the result of a fascination with bluegrass music that Rab has had since he was a wee boy. Having entertained the pub and festival scene with his original tunes and songs for years, he decided that lockdown was the perfect opportunity to record part of this back catalogue, as well as write a few new ones.
Tonic has been a lot of fun to play and record, but it’s been an enormous task of arranging and recording, engineering and producing that took nearly a year.
Rab sings lead and harmony vocals and plays acoustic and arch top guitars, mandolin, fiddle, Dobro, banjo, acoustic bass and harmonica.
Oozing 99 pounds of Southern fried sass, Michelle grew up in the Mississippi Delta via west Texas, where her love affair with country and blues music began. Her passion was fuelled by her dad’s extensive record collection, as well as a vibrant music scene where from a young age she could see anyone from B.B. King to Waylon Jennings perform on any given Saturday night.
Her short-lived career on the timpani in junior high school whetted her appetite for banging on the drums, but this interest was curtailed when she made the cut for her school’s elite marching band dance team and flag corp- still keeping the beat, but now in sequins and go-go boots.
While studying at uni, she indulged her love of music by working her way through school as a rock and roll disc jockey, pulling shifts overnight and attending classes in the day. She has performed voice over work for corporate and government clients and starred in the award winning animation "Prelude to Ax'd We Are" as Captain Salty Axelgrinder. She still feels at home behind the mic and can occasionally be heard on Oban FM.
Michelle started playing again after graduation, first as a percussionist and backing singer with local bands. When a friend left his drum kit at her house, she picked up the sticks one day and never looked back. She’s played with blues, country and rock bands for more than 20 years, most recently with the Hollow Mountain String Band.
Michelle’s steady beat lends a juke joint meets honky tonk vibe to the band's sound. As she describes her style, “I’m not fancy but I can chop wood all day!”