Woody & Sunshine, the picking duo from the Ozarks, gave Fayetteville a visit last month to preview their upcoming DOUBLE-EP release. Although the official release of the CD has been be delayed until Friday, during their performance at George’s Majestic Lounge they performed selections from the DOUBLE-EP, dubbed the Kaleidoscopic EP and Know EP.
Opening for Woody & Sunshine was Richie Nagan, Mark Whitecage & Perry Robinson as Who Knows? And Adam Stephen Johnston & Elijah Brinson as Adam & Eli. Later on, during the show, Dan Hover “Daddy” made an appearance as a special guest sit-in.
After the show, I spoke with them about the DOUBLE-EP release, as well as their future plans.
“How did you choose the design and release date of the Double-EP?”
Woody: The design is done by Sunshine’s sister Langley Osborn. She’s an amazing artist. (April 16) was the release date we had planned on, but it didn’t work out that way. We still got to debut all the songs on stage that night which was super fun.
“What was your recording process?”
Woody: We kind of split it but by song, dedicating a day or two to one song. We recorded with Dan Hover, he is like our mad scientist. Recording a track can take a couple of hours and some songs are really intense — “Kaleidoscopic” is a prime example. It took a really long time. I think we took eight hours just recording it. We try not to overbook ourselves, allowing a day or two for each song.
“What stories have influenced the making of this double-EP?”
Woody: The second EP the instrumental — three of the songs are my originals and one is Sunshine’s. I kind of got this flurry of inspiration when my grandma passed away about a year and a half ago. I had a huge amount of inspiration so a lot of those songs are connected to her. As well as one song on the album, “Zena,” which is dedicated to my childhood dog. Sunshine had a song on the album as well that she wrote. It was based off an Eastern scale that she was really into.
Sunshine: We have a melody part on that song that Woody collaborated with me on as well.
“How did you first start performing?”
Woody: Well, I had played drums as a kid. My grandma gave me my banjo — it was my grandpa’s banjo, so she gave it to me on my 19th birthday. That’s when I started picking, about four months later I met [Sunny] Sunshine. Sunshine: I had always been really interested in the banjo, so when I met Woody and he was playing, and I was like “oh I’ll play with you.” So, I went and bought a banjo and just played for fun. Then it was a couple of years later when Woody switched to the guitar and that was about the time when we first started playing shows. It was our favorite thing to do and we got to spend all our time together while we were doing it so it was a win-win situation.
“What has influenced the genre of your music more than anything?”
Woody: We’ve been listening to a bunch of instrumental jazz and funk music here recently, and kind of compiling that on top of our “jam-band database of music” in our heads. We’ve listened to a lot of Phish, and Grateful Dead. Before that, we listened to a lot of funk, reggae, as well as folk music and bluegrass. (Artists like) John Hartford, Bela Fleck, and of course I can’t fail to mention Keller Williams who are huge inspirations.
“What are your bigger music goals?”
Woody: Playing at Red Rock Amphitheatre is definitely a goal. We’d absolutely like to start international touring as well. We have traveled a lot of the U.S. and have been looking into doing Canada, South America, looking into Japan.
“What are some upcoming events and tours you’d like to share?”
Woody: We’ve got a few shows regional, a few in southwest Missouri: Joplin, Neosho and possibly Springfield. Then a few around NWA: Springdale and Johnson at a new joint called “Wright’s Barbecue” on May 19. Following that, we’re going to Colorado for two or three shows. After that in June, we’ll start our west coast tour. We’ll come back and do a few regional shows, then head out to Washington, Oregon, and California. We may possibly do a couple of shows in Idaho and Nevada. We’re trying to cover a lot of ground.
“Do you have a message to share with your fans behind the meanings of your songs?”
Woody: Just that we love everybody. That’s our biggest inspiration, is getting to play shows pouring our hearts out every night and getting to share that with everyone.
Huge Thanks to Woody & Sunshine for letting me talk to them and take pictures at their show. Also a shout out to Adam Johnston and Elijah Brinson for letting me ask them a few questions as well. All of these performers have such amazing vibes to check out their music visit Woody & Sunshine.