Live Review: Wilder Woods

The Roxy Theater  West Hollywood, CA


Contact: [email protected]

Players: Bear Rinehart, vocals, Guitar; Tyler Burkum, guitar; Steve Goold, drums; Ty Bailie, keys; April Rucker, background vocals; LaVonta Green, bass; Julian Dente, guitar

Material: Wilder Woods, hailing from South Carolina, is rock & roll meets Americana meets country and sprinkled with RnB. The tunes are very well written and played even better as very strong hints of country overtake the songs in a storytelling kind of way. Wilder Woods also has a diverse set. They take the audience on a rollercoaster ride with a groovy, groovin’ tune one minute, and then a hard-hitting rock tune the next and then a death-drop dip with a superb ballad or two.

Musicianship: The musicianship is good. Rinehart was a bit hoarse as the show started, but it cleared up about half way through as his vocals did their thing for the rest of the evening. Burkum and Dente took turns churning out tasty solos and Bailie added some delicious rhythms and fills on the keys; not to mention some good solos of his own. Goold was solid on the drums as the beat was spot-on and on time, every time. Together with Green, Goold made up a very good rhythm section that had the Roxy audience grooving. 

Performance: Rinehart is a natural frontman as he teased the audience and had them clapping and dancing throughout the show. The Roxy crew was on point as they made Wilder Woods sound exceptionally good with a great mix and look even better with the great lighting and effects. Which brings me to the point of background vocals. It can make or break a song and Rucker made every note count. Exceptional BG vocals. 

Summary: Super-strong lyrics, such as “Lately I’ve been terrified of a place I don’t know,” made the country music part of Wilder Woods come alive. “You come to my town, and call us loose and immoral,” and “I’m left with very few to care about, except the ones I hold dear,” all lyrics you can sink your teeth into. Something real. Something everyone goes through in life at one point or another. Top it off with good music to round off the tunes and you have a good act for an entertaining evening of bumping and toe-tapping. Check out Wilder Woods’ latest effort, Fever/Sky, at all outlets. – Pierce Brochetti