When Johnny Cash gave a young Bob Dylan his guitar backstage at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival, it was a symbolic gesture that unofficially anointed Dylan as the next great folk musician; and the rest is history. When 25-year-old Jesse Woods was presented with a $3,500 Gibson Songwriters Deluxe guitar at this years SXSW – it was stolen by a bum (and former friend). Being a drifter himself, he quickly channeled his heartbreak and rage into creativity, and spent the next 6 months isolated in the garage with wine, a Macbook, and a guitar (borrowed). The result is a demo of Woods’ first 7 songs he ever wrote; and serves as a snapshot into the mind and soul of a young artist who’s ghostly voice seems ancient at times, and chilling at others; but always driven by a haunting aesthetic. Originally from Texas, his time spent tramping with gypsies in Grass Valley, CA, mystics in the Colorado mountains, and the gas station poets along the way, provide the inspiration behind the sketches that will soon evolve into a much anticipated debut album. With no EP, Album, merchandise, website, or excessive tweeting – one might wonder whether he is even alive. But don’t be fooled. He just started playing shows 7 months ago and has already drawn comparisons to Jeff Buckley, Bon Iver, and Ray Lamontagne; he is ardent in his mission to honor the grass roots heroes before him, and not compromise the same vision that has created enough buzz to land him on the BMI stage for Austin City limits. If anyone is deserving of receiving a guitar backstage this year, it is this guy.


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