Saturday 8:45PM @ Washington's
Rocky Mountain Grassicana
Something downright mystical is happening on Colorado’s Front Range. The very roots of traditional
acoustic music seem to sprout from the dirt, shaking their dust into the winds of change, to be breathed
in and become the soul of musicians who craft their songs here.
Such is the music of Wood Belly, winners of the Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition (2018). Wood
Belly is the musical collective of Chris Weist (mandolin), Craig Patterson (guitar), Chris Zink (dobro),
Aaron McCloskey (banjo) and Taylor Shuck (bass). A Wood Belly song has its own lyrical persona and
masterful arrangement; rooted in bluegrass tradition and planted solidly in contemporary innovation.
Weist, Patterson and Zink met at the Rockygrass Festival in 2015, and within a year, teamed up with
McCloskey and Shuck. The music fell into place immediately. The instrumentation and rhythmic drive of
the band is like a tree trunk centered in bluegrass with branches that uninhibitedly reach out in many
directions. There is a powerful focus on songwriting, with influences from multiple genres. Wood Belly,
like other bands in the Newgrass or Grassicana realm, is rooted in tradition but refuses to be confined.
Their sound is authentic, passionate and always entertaining.
Whether it’s a hard driving bluegrass song, a multi-layered instrumental, a pop-oriented hook-laden
tune, or a poetic waltz— each song has something to say. There’s an identity, a message in every song,
delivered in a characteristic Wood Belly style that is warm and true, occasionally haunting and the next
moment light and uplifting. The timbre of voice and strings is solid, confident, honest and playful. Every
member sings and vocals are a significant part of the Wood Belly sound.
Since its formation, the band has played an ever-expanding list of great venues including the Mishawaka
Amphitheater, the Fox Theater (Boulder), Wildflower Pavilion (Planet Bluegrass), and Cervantes’
(Denver). Their festival resume includes the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rapidgrass, the Durango
Bluegrass Meltdown, the Keystone Bluegrass and Beer Festival, The Wyoming State Bluegrass and BBQ
festival, Snowygrass, Grapes and Grass, Winter WonderGrass, Northwest String Summit, Palisade Folk
and Bluegrass, and more.
A nominee in the 2018 IBMA Momentum Awards, Wood Belly has shared bills with Del McCoury Band,
Billy Strings, Molly Tuttle, Jeff Austin Band, Front Country, Wood & Wire, Trout Steak Revival, Steel
Wheels, and many more.