Wood & Wire Weave El Paso Grit Into ‘My Hometown’ [Exclusive Premiere]
Bluegrass-leaning quartet Wood & Wire honor the places that raised us in their new song "My Hometown." Readers can press play below to hear the track, premiering exclusively with The Boot.
Mandolinist Billy Bright was inspired to write "My Hometown" by his own hometown of El Paso, Texas. A border town with Las Cruces, N.M. to its north and Juarez, Mexico, to its south, El Paso shaped Bright, both personally and musically.
"I can still remember the smell after it rains in the desert and the Hatch Chiles roasting in giant spinning roasters on the side of the road. My musical journey began there in punk-rock bands playing the Campus Queen and the Mesa Inn," Bright explains of the inspiration for "My Hometown," which he wrote in 2012 and didn't anticipate ever releasing. "While other places have helped me understand who I am not, El Paso shaped who I am. I hope that this song is a good reflection of the love I have for the people and the city of El Paso ... Some people wind up in El Paso. Some people dream of getting the hell out of El Paso. Some people dream of simply making it to El Paso."
Even some of the gear that Wood & Wire used to create "My Hometown" has El Paso ties: A fuzz-wah pedal used by bassist Dom Fisher was a gift from Ed Ivey, frontman of the band the Rhythm Pigs "and king of the El Paso punk scene back [when I was a kid]," Bright explains.
"[Bandmate] Trevor [Smith]’s banjo is screaming through my old Fender Twin, and Tony [Kamel, Wood & Wire lead singer and guitarist] and Dom’s vocals drive home the warmth and the grit of the place I am proud to call my hometown."
"My Hometown," due out widely on Friday (Aug. 14), is one of nine songs on Wood & Wire's forthcoming new album, No Matter Where It Goes From Here. The project follows their Grammy-nominated 2018 album North of Despair.
Wood & Wire's sound leans toward bluegrass, but the band's members come from backgrounds in jazz (Fisher), hardcore (Smith) and punk-rock (Bright).
“There’s nothing more punk than [bluegrass legend Bill] Monroe’s mandolin playing and the entire outlook he had on creating his own sound, writing most of his own material and defying convention by doing everything too fast and in the wrong keys,” reflects Bright. “The truth is, bluegrass has always been an incredibly progressive music.”
No Matter Where It Goes From Here is due out on Aug. 28, via Blue Corn Music. Visit WoodAndWireBand.com for more on the single, the album and the band.
Listen to Wood & Wire's "My Hometown"
LOOK: 50 Country Songs Everyone Must Hear Before They Die