Strings Attached, short story This is one of several collaborations between my oldest brother and I that happened back in the nineties and is my favorite, "Strings Attached." The fundamental chord structure, rhythm guitar, bass guitar etc were recorded by Brandon then he left it with me, hummed the main melody line to me and told me he wanted me to work around that line but to "break out." I laid down the drum part then soloed over the top of the whole thing, mixed it down and took it over to his house. He sat in his chair and listened intently to the result then looked up and bluntly said, "that's not it." I was taken aback a little but the look on his face told me that just a guitar solo wasn't going to be good enough. Upon my arrival back in my studio the first thing I did was sit down and practice for a few hours and the next day basically did the same thing. By the time the weekend rolled around I was loaded for bear and fired the mix up again. After I had blazed a few takes on it I confidently picked the best of the three, mixed it down, called him and said I'd be right over. Before I go any further I have to explain that my brother is one of only a few individuals in the entire world who has the natural born gift and the learned skill to "voice" (different from tuning) an entire pipe organ to which I could site examples including the organ at Justice Scalia's funeral but I think in his humble way he would prefer that I didn't. Anyway, when I walked in his front door he was excited and so was I. We got a cup of coffee and popped the tape in the stereo. In his usual fashion he listened intently as I sat there and tried to hide the anxiety that pretty much consumed me at this point. After he got up and rewound the tape to the beginning and re-listen a couple of times he looked me straight in the eyes and said "that still not it" and "you can do better." I drove away from his house that day more determined than defeated and for the next two weeks, when I wasn't working I was in my studio. "Strings Attached" over and over and over again. When I nailed it I knew it because a little tear trickled down my face just as I played and all of a sudden my heart was guiding my hands in a way that perhaps only an artist would understand. It was Saturday, I called him and confidently said I'll be right over. When I walked in his front door I think he picked up on the vibe and we proceeded to the coffee pot and poured us a cup. When he slipped the tape in this time I felt no anxiety and when the first stanza of the soloing past I looked over and saw a little smile start to eak out in the corner of his mouth. Then his chair started to rock back and forth and the foot started patting and I had a feeling I was home free. After he had rewound it for the 5th, 6th and 7th time I was sure. A full month after Brandon wrote the tune, recorded his parts and left it with me he forced me into a whole different level of playing that has been there ever since. That's my story and this is the song; "Strings Attached" by Brandon Woods, Performed by Brandon Woods and Loren "Lo" Woods https://www.reverbnation.com/lowoods/song/25380307-strings-attached
I sang the tune "Stop the World and Let Me Off." a couple of years ago. The world didn't stop but it did try to give me my wish and let me off. It didn't succeed so there must be a reason why I'm here. I went to sleep on July 15, 2013 and was in a coma until October 6 2013. During that time I was in a world you would not believe. It tugged and it pulled my flesh apart and put me in places I never knew existed, maybe they don't . . . but they did to me. It would take a full volume of books to describe it to you. I was told I had contracted double pneumonia, ARDS, Mersa and Sepsis to which either one of them can kill you and usually do just that. When I woke up it took me a while to merge the two worlds together, the alternate one and this one. Once I was half way back I realized that there were many, many people, some I will never know who were praying, hoping and just plain not giving up the fight and that made me feel proud, special and brought many tears to my eyes while I was in recovery, alone and immobile. Still does from time to time. There are way too many people to mention here but I hear they were in the hundreds if not thousands and today I am a new man. There is no way I could possibly thank all of you enough, you gave me life and although it will take a while for me to play again, I owe that to you and it will happen. I could write until my fingers fall off but I might need em for something else. Stay tuned cause Lo's still out here and appreciates everything that all of you have done, all your prayers, meditations, vigils etc. I will never forget it. Peace, ~Loren "Lo" Woods
I have had numerous insults and criticisms about my drum programming in my songs from drummers, no make that one drummer who is upset because I never used him on a song. The fact of the matter is that Rick Knapp (my co-producer on my first record in 1992) didn't have the technology to record drums correctly. Rick Bole gave me an astounding performance on the instrumental piece Throwin' Down but the technology Rick used had his high hat sounding like $20 dollar cymbals clanging together and his snare drum was, well, not like it really sounded. Dean Hedges gave me a pretty good performance on a couple of tunes but he was Dave Weckle over the top and too busy, I'm sure a few more reprimands and retakes and he would've done fine. The bottom line is that I am a drummer and understand them very well. If I could've played more than once a year I would probably be a drummer of renown. I have spent a lot of time tuning my drum kits in the machine, snare to Weckles. Snare to Dennis Chambers, Snare to Raffer Griffin etc and the toms and kicks were tuned the same way. My point is that If I'd waited for the technology of the drum recording to come my way I never would've recorded that first song but I have over 200 recorded and drummers all over the world ask me who the drummer is. Matter of fact, the first song I ever recorded at Knapps house on the 8 track tascam 388 was Good Deed Woman and I didn't know how to program but played the drum machine manually. Consequently I let Rick and his band enter the song in the 1989 Indiana music awards and it was the only song they submitted that won the spot in the top seven. I flew here from Baltimore, where I lived at the time to teach his band the song and to play in the battle of the bands at Nick's in Lafayette IN. The singer wasn't the one on the original recording, didn't understand the song and blew it. Even at that, the judges told me we placed 2nd and probably would have won if not for all the mushy love songs, which were written by that band, I had two days to learn them. That's my rant and I feel so much better, ~Brother Lo http://loguitar.com
After over a year of hospitalization, Spinal Fusion Surgery, Double Pneumonia, ARDS, Sepsis and near death I am slowly returning to form in baby steps. Something happened to my left hand, especially the index finger during all of this and I'm working it every day to try and get back to what I was. If it's humanly possible, it will be done and I'll be back stronger than ever. That's all for now.
Born in a little log cabin by some railroad tracks on January 20, 1955 to a mother who was a Nun and a father who was a wino, it has been an uphill battle ever since. My growth was stunted at first due to a regular diet of crawdads, water bugs and dirt. In my early teens I went searching for secluded places to learn to play guitar while most of my friends were stealing cars and knocking over Coke machines. Hey, they had their ways of expressing themselves and I had mine. Occasionally I would give in and hang out with my friends but I quickly realized that Juvenile Center and Jail weren't exactly my idea of peaceful secluded places, the ambience wasn't conducive to art.
By the time I was 15 the Hippie thing was in full swing, which was perfect for me because my second hand clothes and failure to make it to the barbershop were automatically in style. 1970 through 1976 took me through a variety of mostly three-piece Rock n.. Roll bands and some nightclubs where murder, mayhem, mischief, debauchery and record-breaking alcohol and drug consumption were the norm. If I had a dollar for every time I survived a murder attempt, I would have about five bucks... ..
My tenure with the dynamic and enthusiastic Champion Band (1976 through 1981) was the wildest ride of my life. As a matter of fact, it was so much fun that it sent me into retirement and back to finding secluded places to re-learn how to play. The 100 or so tunes I have written and recorded since then are a testament instrumentally and vocally to all of the events of my life.
I have been playing for my entire life, it soothes my soul, exercises demons, tells my stories etc. I have friends who tour the world on big stages, I like to think that I am capable of doing that too but here I sit.
I have had several opportunities to go "big time" but something always happens and those opportunities fade away into dust. Each time I play a little honky tonk for 50 people, playing copy music that I really don't care for, I come home and contemplate retirement. This isn't how I thought it would end up but I guess eventually I'll have to face the music.
When Jon E Gee is not on tour with Mellencamp, we play some big shows and my faith is somewhat restored that the next level is right around the corner.
My experience with Captain Beyond was an ass kicker for me and took the wind out of my sails for a minute, some of it I'll never get over. It taught me something about the music business and the people in it. They will tell you what you want to hear and lead you to believe they are your best friend and biggest ally but in the end, it's about 2 things; it's about money and it's about THEM. The pitch is disingenuous, phony and deceitful in some cases. A sensitive guy like me doesn't do well with betrayal and abandonment but I'm getting used to it.
The bottom line is, I have a ton of my own music, which if I say so myself, is quite good and I don't do well pursuing someone else s dream. I must pursue my own and will ride this cart till the wheels fall off.
The Captain Beyond project has fallen through the cracks and apparently is no more directly because the drummer and copyright holder Bobby Caldwell is insane. He spent more time chasing ghosts than working on the music and that's not what I signed on for. They say that sometimes it's not good to meet your heroes, this was one of those times. As I spent a lot of time and money to try and make that happen, it will take me a minute to recover my balls and move on. I made some valuable contacts through my efforts and association with those people that I fully intend to utilize for my own purpose and you can count on me coming out blazing and playing MY music next time.
Doing some shows with Jon E Gee from Mellencamp's band in an act called "The Gee Men" and it rocks pretty good.Also, my three piece rock band is getting ready and I have a fusion project called "The Mathematicians" that I've been asked to participate in. currently recording their next record.
Stay tuned, I'm not going away
Loren "Lo" Woods