Oh Look! It’s Bill Wood and the Woodies!

Bill Wood and the Woodies Jan 9 2015.png

Submitted by Sandy Graham

Soft spoken and sweetly humble, Bill Wood is truly a musician’s musician. He still just loves music – playing it, writing it, singing it, performing it. “I was always a songwriter first. Then a musician. I started playing in a band in High School. After that I jumped in a van, hit the road, played covers, lived the dream for awhile.“ Eye Eye was part of that dream – formed out of the ashes of two groups and fronted by Bill Wood. They benefited by being in CBC’S  Rock Wars and winning Q 107’s Home Grown contest that had a record deal attached.  Eye Eye released three solid radio singles between 1986-1988 (X-Ray Eyes, Out on a Limb and Endless Night), two albums on Duke Street; the third and final CD never saw the light of day.

Slightly disillusioned with a fickle industry, Wood stepped away from recording and performing in the early 90’s to focus on raising his family and making a living. His experiences as a home renovator and woodworker has now led him full circle to be back on stage because he wants to be, not because he has to be.

Speaking from his Toronto home Wood said “The time ‘in between’ I studied business administration, tried to be a responsible family man. It is such a thrill for me to have my daughter sing on my CD.  Mary-Margaret  is a talented singer in her own right. Lending her angelic vocals on key tunes is a truly heart rendering experience for me. I grew up in a musical family; I have a Scottish background, so like all Scots, my Mum would get us all together to listen to Scottish radio shows and then as a family we had singalong parties. My sister sings as well.”

When asked what was the turning point of what made him want to be a songwriter and performer he said that pivotal moment in musical history when the Beatles played on Ed Sullivan. “Like so many teenagers at that time, I was hooked. When Hard Day’s Night came to the theatre I watched it and knew music was always going to be in my life. I have been influenced by so many; country music, pop, eclectic, shuffle, all genres of music have helped me grow into the songwriter that I am today.”

One of the projects Wood was involved in during his ‘band sabbatical’ was the out of the cold programmes while also working on writing gospel and spiritual material. As a support worker for the community shelter and housing industry, these experiences have infiltrated into his songs. So have his struggles with addiction, which also provide crucial insights and empathy to his volunteer work as coordinator of a drop-in and food bank. Throughout all these real-world experiences, he’s been writing songs, performing and recording, including three gospel discs and his first solo CD, Take It. But he never strayed far from wanting to be back with band mates and doing his own thing.

Now years after the break-up of  Eye Eye, former frontman/songwriter, Bill Wood, has truly resurrected his career and is back again performing regularly as Bill Wood and The Woodies and sometimes solo as simply Bill Wood. His new sound is very reflective of where he is now. “These days t is amazing to play because I love to do so and this current band is exactly where I want to be. Great guys, and I look forward to performing every time I step on the stage.”

Bill Wood and the Woodies is what really happens when the songs are the main event. When 30 years of songwriting, honed over decades of hard life experiences, meets the craftsmanship of career musicians who don’t know what it means to compromise.  Listening to the Woodies, you get the sense that they believe in the power of a really good song, regardless of genre. Few others could produce a disc with so many strong tunes,great writing and solid production.

The songs come from the soul of Bill Wood, who has lived a lifetime plus, going through the ups and downs of this industry starting with being a minor Canadian success story with an 80s’ pop band to his current state of being comfortable in his own skin, all the while writing songs about life, love and his experiences through it all. “It has been a fun journey for sure! It is the journey that got me where I am today. I have finally come home.”

The Woodies are: bassist/ producer Mark Shannon, ace guitarist Chris Bennett, drummer Dino Naccarato. Mark Shannon also produced Oh Look!, the collaboration of goodwill and good vibes shows. “My musical history with Mark goes back so far we can read each other’s musical minds,” says Wood.”  Chris and Dino are killer musicians. When we bring vocalist Mary-Margaret Wood into the mix—look out!”

Bill Wood has taken more than three decades to perfect his craft. “It has been an interesting ride; I had to learn about trust and instinct and it has been a long journey but I finally feel like I get it. I am so grateful to Jeff Liberty for being there to push us forward with his support at Liberty Artists by representing Bill Wood and the Woodies.”

Bill Wood and the Woodies record the kind of songs people say no one writes anymore. Songs that ring true. Songs that stay with you.

If you have a chance to see this band live – jump on it. Buy the CD – become a Woodie fan. I know I am.

For more and to purchase the CD visit www.billwoodandthewoodies.com