For the majority of rock bands, the prospect of recording an album’s worth of new material at a live show would be a bit terrifying. For the instrumental prog-fusion band Woodenhead, it’s just virtuosity as usual. Now in its forty-third year, the band doesn’t put out new music very often: The last new album, Perseverance, was back in 2003 (an archival set at Tipitina’s, from 10 years earlier, was released more recently). But on June 15 and 16, they’ll be recording 15 new songs in front of an audience at Chickie Wah Wah, and releasing it (under the auspices of the Threadhead Cultural Foundation) by the end of the year.
The band—guitarist Jimmy Robinson, keyboardist Fran Comiskey, drummer Mark Whitaker and bassist Paul Clement—actually welcomes the chance to work without a net. Unlike their 40th anniversary show at Tip’s, which had a handful of guests, this show will feature the straight-up quartet.
“We’ll be playing a lot of the same material over two nights—so if you add it all up, instead of everybody going into the studio and arguing for two months, it really comes out ahead,” Robinson said. “We’ve been known to beat things to death, destroying good recordings by spending years on them.” Putting out the Tipitina’s set—which included much livelier versions of songs they’d done in the studio—helped inspire this project. &ld