Oliver Wood Brings ‘Always Smilin’ to the Hi-Fi in Indy

MOKB Presents Oliver Wood | Indianapolis, IN. | 05.13.2022
MOKB Presents Oliver Wood | Indianapolis, IN. | 05.13.2022

Indianapolis, IN. – There is something special when your favorite artist plays a small room. In that intimate setting you can literally be an arms length away from the performer. You can make eye contact. At times, you may feel like they are singing to you personally. There are no video walls. There is no larger than life stage. It’s just you, the artist, and a room full of friends…and that is exactly how Friday the 13th went down when MOKB Presents Oliver Wood at the Hi-Fi in Fountain Square (a hip and trendy burb just south of downtown Indianapolis).

You didn’t have to be superstitious to know that tonight was going to be something special! Oliver Wood (guitar, lead vocals) was in town and he brought along fellow musicians Jano Rix (drums, keyboard, percussion, vocals) and Ted Pecchio (bass, vocals), along with supporting act Ric Robertson to showcase Oliver’s debut solo album, Always Smilin’ (out now via Honey Jar/Thirty Tiger). There’s not much I can say about Oliver Wood that hasn’t already been said before – I mean, if you know, you know! Frontman and one-third of the group The Wood Brothers since 2004, Oliver is a prolific songwriter and a mainstay of modern-day Americana roots music. He has a unique way of writing about everyday experiences that draws the listener in and holds their attention as he tells his tale. Whether you tap your foot and smile or shed a tear to the raw emotion brought up in the song, the listener can relate on a deeper level and ultimately, (I believe) that is the secret to Oliver’s magic. 

I said how do you do it, do you lean into it
Is that talking for real, is that just how you feel
And it blows my mind, this love that you’re givin’, he said
Kindness is my religion
Kindness is my religion
Kindness is my religion”

Oliver, Ted, and Jano walked onto the stage with big grins and wasted no time getting right down to business. Kicking off the night with a tune from Always Smilin’, Oliver proceeded to take the crowd on a musical journey showcasing songs off the new album then rotating to a favorite Wood Brother tune as the crowd sang along. He was very engaging with the audience through out the night telling the back stories of how songs came to be or about their travels during this run of shows. It really added to the close up and personal intimate feel of the evening. Oliver even commented on “how happening” a place we had here in Fountain Square and joked that it took him 30 minutes “just to get a taco” (We do have some good taco joints in the Square)! 



Some of the highlights from the set were “Fine Line”, “Soul of the City”,“Kindness”,  “Postcards from Hell”, “Atlas” and my personal favorite Wood Brother tune “Chocolate On My Tongue” (which I had never seen performed live in the six times I’ve seen The Wood Brothers – insert happy face here). Another special moment in the set (staying true to the Wood Brothers vibe) was when opener Ric Robertson joined the guys on stage for a couple tunes. Overall, it was a solid set that gave the audience a good listen of the new album while still incorporating all the fan favorites from the Wood Brothers.

Speaking of Ric Robertson, Ric is a singer-songwriter based out of New Orleans with a sound reminiscent of John Prine. With a mixture of jazz, funk and country, Ric gave a phenomenal opening set highlighting songs off his new album, Carolina Child (out now via Free Dirt Records). You could tell Ric was grateful to be out playing his music and took the time to talk and meet attendees between sets. Ric told the crowd this was his first time visiting Indiana and we sure hope he comes back soon. If you’re not familiar with Ric Robertson, be sure to check him out on your favorite streaming application for some terrific  Americana roots music. He’s worth a listen! Promise. 



This show was part of a special 5 date run of shows highlighting Oliver’s new album Always Smilin’ – No worries though. You can catch Oliver out this summer touring with his band The Wood Brothers along with Guster starting in June. Check here for dates and grab your tickets fast as this will be a hot summer ticket!

Show Date 5/13/2022

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Dawne (Pix) Meyers
I am a freelance photographer based in Indianapolis, Indiana specializing in concert and event photography. With my childhood love for music and photography plus the added influence from my mother (a Broadway Company Manager) and later from my husband (a live sound engineer) it seemed only natural to combine my passions and pursue my craft more seriously. I have been blessed with great opportunities to shoot fabulous performers and look forward to sharing my work and new adventures with Digital Beat Magazine. Be sure to look for me in the pit at the next show... They call me "Pixie Dare" Make sure to check out my portfolio at www.picturesbypix.com and be sure to find me on Facebook at Pix Meyers Photography and Instagram @pixmeyersphoto.