On episode 91 of the Taproot Music Show, Rick Cornell interviews Bob Woodruff. They talk about how Bob Woodruff’s Lost Kerosene Tapes came to be published by Sound Asleep Records and why these songs were never released by album’s previous label. Bob and Rick discuss the Byrds influence running through all three of Woodruff’s albums. And Bob Woodruff gives a special shout out to a singer he’s worked with in Los Angeles who’s now in Raleigh.
Americana Music Show
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Rick Cornell, on his Dirty Laundry show, starts the show talking about “one of the best surprises of 2102″ being the releases being Bob Woodruff’s album, The Lost Kerosene Tapes, recently released by Sweden’s Sound Asleep label.
[Rick Cornell plays “Hat Full of Rain”]
Rick Cornell welcomes Bob Woodruff on the phone from Los Angeles. Bob Woodruff talks about the New York City scene for country music in the “early 90’s,” when Bob first started recording country and country-rock. Bob Woodruff says it wasn’t a big scene, but there were a few bars that played music including The Rodeo and CBGB’s. Bob says the first C in CBGB stands for country music.
Rick Cornell says when Bob Woodruff’s first record came out it was a couple of years ahead of the alt.country wave that came later. Bob Woodruff’s first CD, Dreams & Saturday Nights, came out in ’94 and the No Depression magazine, the milestone of the alt.country scene didn’t come out until ’95. Bob Woodruff talks about his band from the 80’s called The Fields, which he says he dragged kicking and screaming in a country direction in the mid-80’s. Bob Woodruff says he was not impressed with the MTV culture of the time and that he was drawn to the song writing of Elvis Costello and T-Bone Burnett.
Rick says at least one track of Dreams & Saturday Nights was from The Fields. Bob says about half the album was music that was supposed to be on The Fields next release on Restless records. Bob Woodruff tells the story of how they got a deal with Restless by sending them an unsolicited cassette tape. Restless said later that was the only time they signed a band from an unsolicited tape. Bob Woodruff says that their album for Restless never got released because the company went bankrupt during the recording.
[Rick plays “Brand New Blue” from The Lost Kerosene Tapes.]
Rick Cornell asks if there is a Byrds influence on “Brand New Blue” and The Lost Kerosene Tapes. Bob Woodruff says yes there is a Byrds influence. Bob Woodruff says that the songs on Dreams & Saturday Nights and Desire Road were originally targeted for country radio so there is more of a Byrds influence on those records than on the songs on The Lost Kerosene tapes. Most of the songs on The Lost Kerosene tapes were part of a demo deal they had with Interscope records.
Bob Woodruff tells the story of how The Lost Kerosene Tapes came to be released. Jerker Emanuelson of Sound Asleep records had a friend in France who had somehow obtained one of Bob Woodruff’s demo cassettes and shared with him. Jerker Emanuelson had been trying to track Bob Woodruff down for several years. So the friend in France happed to see a news story written about Bob Woodruff in the Houston Chronicle which was later also published on The Huffington Post. The friend in France reached out to the journalist from the Houston Chronicle to find out how to reach Bob. And eventually, they all met and Sound Asleep Records agreed to release the record.
Bob Woodruff sets up “Whiskey Heaven” from The Lost Kerosene Tapes. He says this is one of the last tracks that The Fields ever recorded. It’s one of the more country songs the band ever wrote. And for whatever reasons, it never made it on an album.
Bob Woodruff gives a shout out to Jeanne Jolly. Bob met her in Los Angeles and she has sung harmonies on several of his songs. But now she is back in Raleigh and is playing gigs around town including the Berkeley.
[Rick plays “I’m Standing Here With Standing Here With Both Knees On The Ground.” from Dreams & Saturday Nights”
Bob Woodruff says he’s doing some more recording and is about half way through making a new album. He says his current songs are a little more R&B influenced than his past work. Bob Woodruff says his music has always been a combination of 60’s rock, country, and R&B. He says sometimes one genre comes more to the front than others and right now R&B is coming to the front.
[Rick Cornell plays “Every Day I Have To Cry” form Desire Road.]