blurt

BOB WOODRUFF – The Year We Tried to Kill the Pain

Album:

The Year We Tried to Kill the Pain

Artist: Bob Woodruff 

Label: Steel Derrick Music 

Release Date: February 26, 2016 

www.nelsonbragg.com

 

The Upshot: More R&B, roots and Americana than the country-focused sound that marked his earlier stuff two decades ago.

BY JOHN B. MOORE

It’s been about two decades since Bob Woodruff last put out any new music in the U.S. and judging by his latest, he’s ready to be taken seriously. The Year We Tried to Kill the Pain, despite housing 13 tracks, is still a pretty lean effort, with every lyric and every instrument serving a purpose with little filler.

Woodruff has stepped away from the more country-focused sound that defined his first two albums and brings in hints of R&B, Roots and Americana. The album start off slow with the tepid “I Didn’t Know” but quickly finds it’s footing with the powerful “I’m the Train” followed by the title track.

What unfolds is a collection of songs that are as beautiful as they are emotionally raw. Among the highlights is an achingly melancholy cover of The Supremes’ go-to song, “Stop in the Name of Love” – an inspired choice that manages to completely reinterpret the song.

From his very first record on, critics were drawing comparisons to folks like Springsteen and Steve Earle and those associations are even more obvious now than when first brought up. Twenty years is a long time to be away, but Woodruff clearly made the most of it.

DOWNLOAD: “I’m the Train,” “The Year We Tried to Kill the Pain” and “Stop in the Name of Love”

 

http://blurtonline.com/review/bob-woodruff-year-tried-kill-pain/


TWANGVILLE

Mayer’s Picks – The Best of 2016 (So Far), the Songs Part 1

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2016 BY MAYER DANZIG

This has already been quite a year for songs. Here are just a few of my favorites from the first half of 2016.

 

I Didn’t KnowBob Woodruff (from the Steel Derrick Music release The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain

Woodruff somehow makes heartbreak sound cheerful on this fine piece of Americana.

 

http://twangville.com/24542/mayers-picks-the-best-of-2016-so-far-the-songs-part-1/


twangville

Mayer’s Picks – the Best of 2016 (So Far), the Albums

TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2016  BY MAYER DANZIG

It’s been a good year for music so far this year (and the rest of the year is shaping up quite nicely, too). Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite releases from the first half of 2016.

THE YEAR WE TRIED TO KILL THE PAIN by BOB WOODRUFF

It’s always refreshing to hear an artist making music on his or her own terms. Woodruff played the Nashville buzz game back in the 1990s before dropping out of the music business for several years. He makes a welcome return this year, the weathered life experience in his voice and songs setting a fine example for a new generation of country songsmiths.

Key Tracks: I Didn’t Know, Stop in the Name of Love, I’m Losing You, So Many Teardrops, What Is Heaven, So Many Teardrops, If I Was Your Man

Featured Twangville coverage of Bob Woodruff:  Mayer’s Playlist for February 2016, Part 2 and Got You Covered – A Random Spring Playlist

http://twangville.com/24533/mayers-picks-the-best-of-2016-so-far-the-albums/


TWANGVILLE

Got You Covered – A Random Spring Playlist

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2016  BY MAYER DANZIG

It’s one thing to simply cover another artist’s song; it’s quite another to re-imagine it in a meaningful way. In that vein we’ve been treated to some mighty fine covers this year. Here are a few of my favorites plus a brilliant selection from the archives .


Stop in the Name of LoveBob Woodruff (from the Steel Derrick Music release The Year We Tried to Kill the Pain)

 

Woodruff turns this classic song by the Supremes on its head. Whereas the original is an upbeat and somewhat defiant appeal to a cheating lover, Woodruff’s version is a mournful plea. The transformation is striking. 

 

http://twangville.com/24302/got-you-covered-a-random-spring-playlist/


boston globe

Country artist Woodruff finds his way back, via Sweden

“I eventually learned that the sweaty human realism that the singers who inspired me were most about wasn’t really in vogue there at the time,” says Bob Woodruff of his time in Nashville in the mid-’90s.

By Stuart Munro GLOBE CORRESPONDENT

MARCH 19, 2016

 

 

This is the story of Bob Woodruff, a guy who went to Nashville, made two fantastic, out-of-step records at mainstream country’s ground zero, and then simply disappeared. It’s a story of a string of bad luck that led to Woodruff becoming a subject of those “whatever happened to” queries, and then, 20 years later, a swing from bad luck to good, and a return.

Woodruff moved to Nashville from his native New York City after signing a record deal with Asylum Records, and released “Dreams & Saturday Nights” in 1994. The country music found therein — muscular, tough honky-tonk, shot through with rock and soul — was out of step with pretty much everything else that was happening in the genre, including the hat-act progeny of the neo-traditionalists who’d shown up toward the end of the previous decade.

“I was up against a Nashville that I wasn’t really aware of,” observes Woodruff, reached by phone at his Los Angeles home. “After having moved there, I eventually learned that the sweaty human realism that the singers who inspired me were most about wasn’t really in vogue there at the time. My idea of country music came from things that were rooted more in my imagination.”

Asylum had just been resurrected as a country imprint, and Woodruff thinks the label’s view was that there would be room for records like his within the mainstream. “It wasn’t really an effort to find a place outside of mainstream country, because there wasn’t another genre,” he says. “The genre called ‘Americana’ wasn’t really in place.”

 

His record was a critical success, but turned out to be a commercial disappointment that wasn’t properly supported. He believes the label did the best it could: “That time at country radio, it was a tough fit. As much as Asylum wanted to try to do something different, they were still operating like most labels in Nashville at that time, relying mainly on country radio to break records and artists.”

After Woodruff and the label parted ways, he made an equally compelling follow-up for another new venture, Imprint Records — which promptly went out of business. “That was a heartbreaker, I’m not going to lie: We had a lot of high hopes for that record,” Woodruff recalls.

Add yet another attempt with another label that didn’t even see release, and the cumulative effect threw Woodruff for a serious loop. He moved back to New York to be near his seriously ill mother and, as the singer wryly puts it, “began to pursue other interests” — one of which was heroin. “That really took me out of the game for quite a few years. I was at a place where I was feeling so hopeless and despairing of ever making another record, and fell into a depression. And that was kind of my way of coping with it for a time.”

Woodruff finally ended up in Los Angeles, where he kicked his habit. While he’d never stopped making music for himself, not much more had happened for a while: “I was just concentrating on living my life and enjoying life as a guy who was clean and sober.” But he says that he had always had it in the back of his mind to make “a so-called comeback record.” He had an idea of how he wanted to do it; he was trying to be patient, and get his ducks in a row. And then, out of the blue, it just happened.

Having toured Sweden with the band Shurman in 2012, he stayed on afterward to decompress and enjoy the country. One of the tour promoters asked if he wanted to do a few more shows with some local players. “These guys were really fine musicians, really cool guys, and they had this great studio,” Woodruff says. “So instead of just rehearsing, we began hitting the ‘record’ button. And then we thought, well, let’s just go ahead and do a whole record while I’m here. So in just a few days we did the bulk of the album.”

The spontaneity was completely different from how Woodruff had approached recording before. What resulted was the core of his new release, “The Year We Tried to Kill the Pain,” a slightly (but only slightly) less twangy compendium of vintage Woodruff distillations of romantic pain and desperation that reveals he hasn’t lost a step in the two decades since his previous record.

“You’ve waited 20 years to make another record, and then it happens: You get the opportunity to do it in another country with people you don’t know,” he says with evident appreciation of the irony. “And I’ve got more songs. I can’t wait to make another record. I wonder what country that’s going to be in.”

 

https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2016/03/18/country-artist-woodruff-finds-his-way-back-via-sweden/S3IcJ3XBh9Ir4hEJeGhDOP/story.html


The Journal of Roots Music

NO DEPRESSION

Bob Woodruff's Long Road Back

BY BARRY GILBERT
MARCH 3, 2016 

 

I'm gonna take this burning heart and stick it in the ground

Put me out of your misery where I almost drowned

I was on fire –  I needed you – the year we tried to kill the pain

Bob Woodruff – "The Year We Tried to Kill the Pain"

 

“I’ve seen a lot of people die, and it looks easy,” songwriter Bob Woodruff sings on “Poisoned at the Well,” a track from his superb 1994 debut album, Dreams & Saturday Nights.

It’s a line that nearly became all too real for Woodruff, whose promising recording career foundered in the late ’90s thanks tothe indifference of country radio, bad timing, and, later, drugs.  

And while the lyric has a literal component, its metaphor is even more resonant. 

“I think I thought of it in terms of real death, because I have experienced a lot of death in my life with loved ones who’ve passed on,” Woodruff says. “But I’ve also seen a lot of people who haven’t found a way to do what it is that they’re called to do, and that to me is sad.”

For nearly 20 years, Woodruff was largely unable to do what he is called to do. But that changed Feb. 26 with the release of The Year We Tried to Kill the Pain, his first U.S. album since Desire Road in 1997. It finds Woodruff in command of his songwriting skills, sharpened by the kind of wisdom earned throughexperience; his voice is grittier, lived-in. 

 

 

Listening to the album makes it even more incomprehensible that he’s been away for so long.

The album includes new recordings of four songs from his ’90s catalog that move the arrangements more toward heartland rock from the orginals’ then-mainstream country. And Woodruff has added soul flavors to his sound in songs including “If I Was Your Man” and “So Many Teardrops,” which evoke of the style of Dan “The Dark End of the Street” Penn. 

He has even covered the Supremes’ hit “Stop in the Name of Love,” turning it into a gentle, melancholy plea.

Woodruff’s lyrical gift is intact, as well, and his knack for grabbing the listener with the first two lines is still strong. For example, “Stand in the Way” begins: “How could I have known the wrench that I was thrown would fix a problem I never knew I had.”

Woodruff says he believes that “everybody has a purpose and everybody has talents that they have the potential to tap into.”

“It doesn’t necessarily mean anything that would make you famous, and in the arts it doesn’t matter, it’s not about that,”  

 

 

Woodruff, who turns 55 on March 14, says by phone from his home in Los Angeles. “But everybody has a calling. My wish is that people find whatever it is that makes their heart sing and that they get on with that. I think that’s what we owe to ourselves and to everybody else.”

Woodruff is a native of New York City, where he initially played in rock bands and where he learned about songwriting from the great Brill Building mainstay and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Doc Pomus. (The young Woodruff looked up Pomus under his real name in the phone book, took a leap and called him – and acquired a mentor.)

Although he grew up in a household where Johnny Cash and Everly Brothers records were on the turntable, he didn’t turn to country themes in his songwriting until the ’80s.

 

“I remember Elvis Costello put out that record called Almost Blue and it contained songs that were kind of my gateway to George Jones, to Gram Parsons,” Woodruff says. “And those are big openings. … I became a researcher of country music. There was so much mystery and wonder that was associated with that music, with the South.”

In the late ’80s, his band the Fields was signed by the hip label Restless Records, which promptly went bankrupt, scuttling the project. It’s a theme that would repeat. 

 

 

A few short years later, Woodruff was living his dream. He had been signed by Asylum Records Nashville in 1992 and moved to Nashville, and by 1994 he was in a recording studio working on what would become Dreams & Saturday Nights. Looking around the studio, he felt like “a kid in a candy store.” There he was, surrounded by A-list musicians – among them James Burton, Sam Bush, Harry Stinson, Glen D. Hardin, and Emmylou Harris – and the industry power of parent label Elektra Records. 

Dreams & Saturday Nights was released that year to enthusiastic reviews that heralded a can’t miss new talent. But, somehow, it did miss. Country radio was under the sway of Garth Brooks, Martina McBride, and Little Big Town, and two singles from the album, supported by videos, charted only in the bottom of the Top 100. Radio was not interested in “the next Dwight Yoakum,” as some critics called Woodruff.

Asylum dropped him. 

Three years later, he got another shot with another studio full of prime talent that included E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent and singer/songwriter/producer Ray Kennedy. But Imprint Records, a Nashville independent, went bankrupt, and the equally impressive Desire Road was sentenced to the cutout bins.

And that was essentially that for the next nearly 20 years. Until The Year We Tried to Kill the Pain, his only record release anywhere was The Lost Kerosene Tapes, a collection of recordings from 1999 that was released in Sweden and digitally in the U.S. – but not until 2011.

Entering the 2000’s, Woodruff battled depression and a drug habit but continued writing songs. He performed where he could, including in Scandinavia, home to rabid fans of American roots music. He moved to Los Angeles, played gigs when he could and tried writing songs for movies.

Woodruff is reluctant to blame his heroin habit on his career troubles; success is certainly no antidote for addiction. But his vocal register drops, and he is more hesitant, when he is asked whether any cause-and-effect had been at play.\

 

 

“I would have to say it certainly …,” he says, pausing. “I was feeling pretty discouraged at that time. I just fell into something to numb the pain. That was my way of coping with the hopelessness I felt at that time. 

“To be honest with you, I’m grateful for that experience. I got through that dark night of the soul. It was the thing that allowed me to accept a lot of things (that I) might not have (if I) hadn’t had that experience.”

Woodruff says he tried many times to quit; he says he wasn’t afraid of dying because he almost did it a couple of times. 

“It really came down to me having to hit my knees and ask for help,” he says. “And I did that. I asked God for help. Whatever you want to call it, the Great Spirit, the universe. I like to call it God because it’s a short word, and I think the less said about something that can’t really be put into words – a thing that’s beyond what our minds can fathom – the better. You have to try, but ultimately I think talking about God is like dancing about architecture.”

Woodruffhas been clean for a decade, and a serendipitous series of breaks has finally put him back on the U.S. Americana and roots charts. 

Those breaks started about three years ago in Scandinavia. Woodruff had just come off a grueling 30-shows-in-30-days tour with the Austin, TX-based roots band Shurman. He delayed flying home to LA so he could rest for a couple of days and enjoy Sweden and “the people without having to worry about getting down the road to the next gig.”

Then he got a call from one of the tour promoters offering to help him put a band together for a couple of shows in the town of Örebro – it could pay for your hotel and changed flight home, Anders Damberg told Woodruff. 

 

 

In Örebro, Woodruff began rehearsing in Studio Rymdklang with its musician-owners, Fredrik Landh (bass, drums)    and Clas Olofsson (guitars, pedal steel), along with Swedish garage-rocker Mathias Lilja (guitars and keyboards). 

“You know, there was really no intention to even make a record,” Woodruff says. “That’s the thing you have to understand. When I met the musicians and producers in Sweden, we had no plans to make a record at all.”

But the rehearsals went well, and Landh and Olofsson turned on the recorders – the four rerecordings are part of the set they were rehearsing. After the shows, they recorded some more, and Mathias rescheduled his own studio time so they could continue.

“It wasn’t anything like I thought my so-called comeback record would be,” Woodruff says. “The songs that I did rerecord, I recorded them 20 years ago and, yeah, when they were released a few people heard them, and a few people dug them. But it was largely overlooked. So I thought, well, why not.”

Fast-forward to Los Angeles, where some additional recording was done on what would be titled The Year We Tried to Kill the Pain. Woodruff had become friends with Nelson Bragg, who “began playing drums with me. You know, he plays with another, much more famous BW — Brian Wilson. He’s been a big supporter and has really encouraged me and has this cool little label (Steel Derrick Records).”

 

 

Bragg, Woodruff and Steel Derrick repackaged the album andresequenced its tracks, adding two new songs and removing one from the Swedish edition. 

“I tell you, every time I get a break, it never comes from a place that I expect it to come from. Ever,” Woodruff says. “It’s funny. I’m happy that I got a chance to put out really the first record I’ve put out in the U.S. in nearly 20 years. And today (Feb. 26, 2016) is the street date. So it’s kind of fun to be able to do an interview today when it’s happening.”

Woodruff says that if he hadn’t gone through the darkness, he might not have recognized or been ready to accept new challenges “and attempt to become better than I was.”

“Which is what I tried to do, what I feel I’ve done and what I continue to try,” he says. “Life’s not easy for anybody, and everyone’s fighting a hard battle. I just try to be kind and bring love, not discouragement, to whatever the hell happens.”

 

http://nodepression.com/article/bob-woodruffs-long-road-back

 


popdose

Published on February 18, 2016 

ALBUM REVIEW: BOB WOODRUFF, “The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain”

written by  Rob Ross

 

This new album from Bob Woodruff is only his fourth in a 22-year recording career and it’s a fine statement as to what patience and skill in songwriting can do.  Although he’s a New York City native, this album was recorded in Sweden and sounds more like it comes straight out of Nashville.  A clean, crisp production with a big, radio friendly sound helps lift this collection of songs up even higher, considering the quality of the songs already do this.

Wryly titled The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain, the maudlin nature of the title belies some of the joyful and uplifting melodies that shape this record.  The album’s opening track, “I Didn’t Know” is bouncy and catchy, primed to come screaming out of radios; “I’m The Train”, with its very fine-tuned Rickenbacker 12-string chiming sound and sweeping pedal steel lines reminds me of a Tom Petty-oriented tune (and lo – Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench appears on this album!) and the title track is a pure country kicker – dark, pain and perspective filled lyrics (“…put me out of your misery, where I almost drowned…”) wrapped in a beautiful and buoyant melody.

“There’s Something There” has a very Memphis feel – soulful, warm and embracing; “Bayou Girl” hits all the right flavors of that New Orleans-kind of feel – swampy sounding, boogie-ing piano fills, funky/get down and damn, if he doesn’t sound a little like Alex Chilton with his vocals; “What Is Heaven” is big and bold and could easily be a hit (!) and “Stand In The Way” is another upbeat twanger that has a classic sound and a spot-on vocal.

Eleven excellent tracks that deserve a good, long, thoughtful listen.  Hopefully, you and others will agree with this, because it, indeed, should be heard by all.  It’s hard to deliver a complete package with so much and Bob Woodruff has done just that.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain will be released Friday, February 19th, 2016

https://www.facebook.com/bob.woodruff.9

http://popdose.com/album-review-bob-woodruff-the-year-we-tried-to-kill-the-pain/


TWANGVILLE

MAYER DANZIG     February 24, 2016

MAYER'S PLAYLIST FOR FEBRUARY 2016  |  Part 2

So Many TeardropsBob Woodruff (from the Steel Derrick Music release The Year We Tried to Kill the Pain

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Bob Woodruff counts the late Doc Pomus, he of 1960’s Brill Building fame, as a mentor. Like Pomus, Woodruff deftly portrays human emotion with simple language and melodies that are immensely engaging. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that his frequent topical focus – love gone wrong – has a universal appeal. Woodruff does it right in every way, bringing the songs to life with a world-weariness in his voice. The impact extends through the musical accompaniment which injects both an insistent rhythm and an air of wistfulness.

The performances conjure up images of a musician who has logged more miles and played more country dive bars than he chooses to remember. I suspect that Woodruff would confirm this to be the case.

http://twangville.com/23612/mayers-playlist-for-february-2016-part-2/


mother church pew

“THE YEAR WE TRIED TO KILL THE PAIN” – NEW ALBUM FROM BOB WOODRUFF

FEBRUARY 22, 2016   SUSAN HUBBARD

From Greenwich Village to Nashville to Los Angeles, Bob Woodruff has hard-earned life and love lessons from his travels on the dusty roads and hard city streets of America.  His career began in the mid-90’s with critically-acclaimed country rock releases, Dreams & Saturday Nights (1994, Elektra) and Desire Road (1997, Curb/Imprint). Woodruff played the rock star card and played it hard, burning a few rusty-edged life lessons into his bones. He begins his comeback with the stunning new album The Year We Tried to Kill The Pain, out Feb 26th on Steel Derrick Music.

Originally from Greenwich Village, this album finds him moving away from straight honky tonk and towards a rootsy soulfulness that melds Rock, R&B and Country, befitting these songs about love, pain and redemption. “Like his mentor, another New Yorker, the late great Brill Building songwriter Doc Pomus, Bob’s songs seem to suggest that despite life’s disappointments and love’s failures there is a transcendent aspect to heartache. They offer hope in a seemingly hopeless world for those people stumbling around in the night out there uncertain or not always certain of exactly where they fit in and where they are headed.” wrote Phoenix New Times.

A classic Woodruff staple, “The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain” (re-recorded for this release) sets a tone of white hot love inexorably turning to embers; he sings, “I’m gonna take this burning heart and stick it in the ground/put me out your misery where I almost drowned”. Yet Woodruff has a way of summoning back the ‘fire’ as well as the hurt. The gentle, 60’s soul-flavored, “There’s Something There”, evokes the first thrilling and giddy drop of falling in love with a warm, sunny AM radio glint. “Paint The Town Blue” is a sing-along anthem deserving of a stadium-sized throng swaying to-&-fro, arm-in-arm, with lighters aloft. And for a most special treat, be sure to visit live album-closer, “If I Was Your Man”. The final encore from a recent concert in Sweden beginning with Bob solo on acoustic guitar as members of his band cut short their celebratory smokes backstage to spontaneously accompany him unrehearsed one by one in this openhearted offer of love…the kind of plea Otis Redding would rip to shreds. The Scandinavian audience in attendance is left slack-jawed, as is the listener on the closing of this brilliant new release from Bob Woodruff.

Listen: http://nelsonbragg.com/listen/

Purchase: http://nelsonbragg.com/order-releases

http://www.motherchurchpew.com/2016/02/22/the-year-we-tried-to-kill-the-pain-new-album-from-bob-woodruff/


RMR

Roots Music Report

Album Review of

The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain 

Bob Woodruff

Label: Steel Derrick Music

Genres: Country, Rock, Blues

Styles: Americana Country, Roots Rock, Blues Rock 


Visit Artist/Band Website

Written by Duane Verh
February 6, 2016 - 12:00am EST

 

While Bob Woodruff’s take on the Supremes’ gem “Stop In The Name Of Love”- in which the classic Motown lament is seemingly sifted through Gram Parsons’ “Hot Burrito #1”- will likely garner the most initial attention, there’s plenty of heartache and urgency to go around throughout his current set.  The ironic close to the leadoff track, “I Didn’t Know”, gives this song lasting emotional punch.  Standing out as well are “I’m Losing You”, “What Is Heaven” and the title track.

 

http://rootsmusicreport.com/reviews/view/342/album-review-of-the-year-we-tried-to-kill-the-pain-by-bob-woodruff


INNOCENTWORDS.COM

‘Lost’ Singer/Songwriter Bob Woodruff Returns with ‘The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain’ Out February 26th on Steel Derrick Music

JANUARY 26, 2016 / 2 COMMENTS / 517 VIEWS

 

Bob Woodruff
The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain

“Some like Son-Volt and Wilco are converted punks. Others like Bob Woodruff and Gillian Welch are Nashville outsiders with too much personality for the mainstream country machine.” NEWSWEEK

From Greenwich Village to Nashville to Los Angeles, Bob Woodruff has hard-earned life and love lessons from his travels on the dusty roads and hard city streets of America. His career began in the mid-90’s with critically-acclaimed country rock releases, Dreams & Saturday Nights (1994, Elektra) and Desire Road (1997, Curb/Imprint). Woodruff played the rock star card and played it hard, burning a few rusty-edged life lessons into his bones. He begins his comeback with the stunning new album The Year We Tried to Kill The Pain, out Feb 26th on Steel Derrick Music. Americana radio welcomed the new release with open arms, reporting it as #2 most added this week, debuting at #51 on the chart.

Over the years, his myriad praise included the Chicago Reader, calling Bob “a lyricist of enormous wit and depth,“ further stating, “Woodruff hews to the Hank Williams, Sr. school of songwriting, using intensely personal lyrics that occasionally come close to standing as poetry on the written page.” It’s why such pedigreed musicians and artists such as Emmylou Harris, Benmont Tench, Gary Tallent, Lucinda Williams, James Burton, Bernie Leadon and others have climbed onboard Woodruff’s sessions. As the Houston Chronicle stated with conviction, “Bob Woodruff is the best country singer you never heard…(His) body of work, old and new, is a goldmine awaiting discovery by other singers.” Rolling Stone noted, “Woodruff’s songs have a classic resonance (and he) mines the seam between Springsteen and Steve Earle.” And Third Coast Music wryly surmised, “One of the most talented and snake-bit performers to ever hit Nashville, this is music as real as a purple bruise on a junkie’s arm.”

Originally from Greenwich Village, this album finds him moving away from straight honky tonk and towards a rootsy soulfulness that melds Rock, R&B and Country, befitting these songs about love, pain and redemption. “Like his mentor, another New Yorker, the late great Brill Building songwriter Doc Pomus, Bob’s songs seem to suggest that despite life’s disappointments and love’s failures there is a transcendent aspect to heartache. They offer hope in a seemingly hopeless world for those people stumbling around in the night out there uncertain or not always certain of exactly where they fit in and where they are headed.” wrote Phoenix New Times.

A classic Woodruff staple, “The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain” (re-recorded for this release) sets a tone of white hot love inexorably turning to embers; he sings, “I’m gonna take this burning heart and stick it in the ground/put me out your misery where I almost drowned”. Yet Woodruff has a way of summoning back the ‘fire’ as well as the hurt. The gentle, 60’s soul-flavored, “There’s Something There”, evokes the first thrilling and giddy drop of falling in love with a warm, sunny AM radio glint. “Paint The Town Blue” is a sing-along anthem deserving of a stadium-sized throng swaying to-&-fro, arm-in-arm, with lighters aloft. And for a most special treat, be sure to visit live album-closer, “If I Was Your Man”. The final encore from a recent concert in Sweden beginning with Bob solo on acoustic guitar as members of his band cut short their celebratory smokes backstage to spontaneously accompany him unrehearsed one by one in this openhearted offer of love…the kind of plea Otis Redding would rip to shreds. The Scandinavian audience in attendance is left slack-jawed, as is the listener on the closing of this brilliant new release from Bob Woodruff.

http://innocentwords.com/lost-singersongwriter-bob-woodruff-returns-with-the-year-we-tried-to-kill-the-pain-out-february-26th-on-steel-derrick-music/


In reference to Jeff Bridges' character in the Academy Award winning, "Crazy Heart", the film about a country singer, a

HUFFINGTON POST article declared that:

"BOB WOODRUFF IS BAD BLAKE".

They also had the following to say about him and his albums:

"SHOULD HAVE BEEN A HOUSEHOLD NAME"

"IF THERE'S ANY JUSTICE WOODRUFF GETS A COMEBACK"

"FLAWLESS"

"ALL OF IT SOUNDING LIKE OLD FAVORITES YOU NEVER HEARD BEFORE"


click on this link to read the whole story!:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-kornbluth/bob-woodruff-never-heard_b_437022.html
 


Another story about Bob Woodruff in the HOUSTON CHRONICLE arts section is headlined:

"BOB WOODRUFF IS THE BEST COUNTRY SINGER YOU NEVER HEARD"

the article goes on do say the following about Bob and his music:

"DREAMS AND SATURDAY NIGHTS IS, FOR MY MONEY THE BEST COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASED IN THE 90's"

and Bob’s new demo/ EP elicited this response from Rolling Stone writer and Houston Chronicle Arts and Entertainment editor Andrew Dansby:

"I NOW HAVE A BURNED CD WITH THE FIRST FEW WOODRUFF SONGS I’VE HEARD SINCE HIS SECOND ALBUM, DESIRE ROAD, STIFFED IN 1997, IT’S LIKE STUMBLING INTO SOMETHING NEW BY ELLIOTT SMITH, NICK DRAKE OR JEFF BUCKLEY. ONLY WOODRUFF ISN’T DEAD, THROUGH NO FAULT OF HIS OWN.”

“AFTER WOODRUFF’S LONG ABSENCE, HIS CAREER SHOWS SIGNS OF LIFE THESE DAYS”
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/6852860.html
 


Additional press quotes:

“Bob Woodruff’s 1994 debut album, Dreams & Saturday Nights, was one of the finest country albums of the ’90s....he is a master of the well-crafted story-song.” - NO DEPRESSION

"Dreams & Saturday Nights mines the seam between Springsteen and Steve Earle." - ROLLING STONE

“Woodruff’s material has a classic resonance and the vocal harmony of label mate Emmylou Harris is typically exquisite.” - ROLLING STONE

"Some like Son-Volt and Wilco are converted punks. Others like Bob Woodruff and Gillian Welch are Nashville outsiders with too much personality for the mainstream country machine." - NEWSWEEK

“Bob Woodruff’s Dreams & Saturday Nights is unquestionably the best album to come from Nashville in Years.” - CMJ

“A lyricist of enormous wit and depth..Woodruff hews to the Hank Williams Sr. school of songwriting, using intensely personal lyrics that occasionally come close to standing as poetry on the written page.” - CHICAGO READER

"The freshest-sounding album to cross this desk in months is Bob Woodruff's "Dreams & Saturday Nights. It kicks and yells." - David Zimmerman, USA TODAY

"Woodruff, who studied under the late Doc Pomus, is as good as today's country music gets". - Tom Lanham, CMJ

"One of the most talented and snake-bit performers to ever hit Nashville..this is country music for the Apocalypse.. as real as a purple bruise on a junkie’s arm." - William Michael Smith, THIRD COAST MUSIC

"Bob Woodruff’s voice has something youthful & desperate, as if the spirit of James Dean had sought in his throat a spot and cried." - ROOTSTIME BELGIUM

" 'Dreams & Saturday Nights' is as fine a debut as Nashville sent into the world since Steve Earle's 'Guitar Town'. " - Robert K.Oerman, NEW COUNTRY MUSIC

"From the opening notes--a confounding burst of fiddle and electric guitar--to the last chord, 'Desire Road' is a fresh, engaging piece of work." -Jim Fusilli, WALL STREET JOURNAL

"...one of the most unself-consciously rocking country records in recent memory." - BILLBOARD

"Woodruff's body of work, old and new, is a gold mine awaiting discovery by other singers."
- Andrew Dansby, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

"Asylum Records began under the wing of Atlantic in 1970 and entered the country marketplace in 1992 with an unusually strong commitment to artistic vision. The label signed such critically acclaimed acts as Guy Clark and Emmylou Harris as well as soon-to-be acclaimed artist Bob Woodruff." - The ENCYCLOPEDIA of COUNTRY MUSIC compiled by the staff of the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME