Mining a vein of dark alt-country territory similar to that of more well-known artists such as Wilco and Gillian Welch, Bob Woodruff just released his newest LP, The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain, on February 26. The album is available for streaming here.
Listening to the record, it is easily apparent how Woodruff has garnered critical acclaim even if his music hasn't been as successful to the mainstream public. His grizzled and soulful voice and personal lyrics highlighting heartbreak and hard luck hearken back to classical country, while modern rock instrumentation and production, and steady rhythms, pull him into a more contemporary blend of rock, R & B, and country.
Some of the praise lavished upon "the best country singer you've never heard of" (Houston Chronicle) includes the Chicago Reader calling Bob "a lyricist of enormous wit and depth," Rolling Stone declaring "Woodruff's songs have a classic resonance," and Third Coast Music calling Woodruff "as real as a purple bruise on a junkie's arm."
Though Bob Woodruff has been crafting his particular brand of lonely and lovelorn Americana since the mid-90s, this record may be a perfect chance for him to connect with new fans, with catchy melodies centering around universal themes of loss and redemption. Some gems from this recording include one of his most popular songs, the bittersweet titular The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain, a haunting stripped-down demo called The Sweetest Mystery, and the album closer, a live version of If I Was Your Man in Sweden, showcasing a genuine fan response to the haunting intimacy of Bob's voice, lyrics, and guitar. Hopefully these gifts will be discovered by even more fans in this new offering.