After each of the few times I’ve been lucky enough to see The Word perform over the last decade, I’ve always left momentarily wondering the same thing: “if they’re so damn good together, why don’t these guys record and tour more often?”
Of course the question always answers itself easy enough and is more of a selfish wish from a longtime fan. Each of The Word members has their own main squeeze band and a fantastic array of various side projects. If The Word were to tour heavily every year, we’d be left with less shows/material from great bands like Medeski, Martin and Wood, Robert Randolph and the Family Band North Mississippi Allstars, N.M.O., MSMW and Medeski’s exciting new DRKWAV project (just to name a few of the wide-ranging acts the members of The Word are involved with). Appreciating these concerts as a rarity (although 2015 has been their busiest year ever), it’s a huge treat each time to watch these five guys get together to create spiritual blues rock on stage and Wednesday at 9:30 Club was certainly no different.
At just a few ticks shy of 9:30pm, The Word hit the stage in the famous U Street corridor venue. The setlist was comprised a blend of loosely improvised versions of new tunes from Soul Food (including a vocal guest spot by opening act Amy Helm on “Come By Here“), various chances to watch each member solo (including the requisite Cody washboard jam) and your generally upbeat and dance-forcing blast offs we’ve come to expect The Word to provide. A midweek soul-cleanse was what we came for, and the five-headed monster supergroup delivered.
Check out photos from my first trip to the 9:30 Club below.