Wooten, best known for his work on bass guitar with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Stanley Clarke, Dave Matthews and more, released two new CDs on his own VIX Records on Sept. 25.
Continuing in his unique fashion of delivering musical innovation and thought-provoking compositions, Wooten will deliver Words and Tones, a collection of 14 tracks (12 new original tracks and 2 cover songs) featuring female vocalists. Sword and Stone is an instrumental CD that showcases the different sides of Wooten’s approach to music, performance and songwriting.
Both recordings were produced, engineered and mixed by Wooten primarily at Vix Mix Studios in Nashville. On both CDs, Wooten contributes a variety of fretless and acoustic bass guitars, cello, keyboards, percussion, string arrangements, and vocals, highlighted by searing bass solos that will boggle the mind and definitely satisfy those that thrive on Wooten’s musical as well as technical skills.
Vocalists on Words & Tones include Saundra Williams (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings), Divinty Roxx (Beyoncé), New York vocalist Claudette Sierra, and Krystal Peterson, the newest member of Wooten’s touring band. New collaborations include a smooth vocal and bass performance from Me’shell Ndegeocello, and a beautiful duet featuring Joey Kibble (Take 6) and Cheryl Morse. Guest performers include Wooten’s brothers and kids, with several vocal tracks from Kaila Wooten, Wooten’s 14-year-old daughter. Other contributors include The Wooten Brothers; J. D. Blair (Shania Twain) and Derico Watson on drums; Pedro “Pedrito” Martinez on percussionist; and many more.
Sword & Stone is an equally impressive instrumental rendition of the recordings from Words and Tones where Wooten has added new arrangements, solos, instruments, and musicians. Each CD features a few songs not found on the other.
Wooten comments, “There’s something for everyone – music and messages for every age. I wrote about what was on my mind and in my heart. If the listener wants to learn, be entertained, or just casually listen, it’s all available on these two CDs. Just figuring out the significance behind the two titles may be enough to make one smile.”
Wooten will continue to tour heavily in the fall, including a string of dates co-headlining with The Jimmy Herring Band in November.
The touring ensemble includes Wooten on electric, tenor and upright basses, cello, guitar and vocals; Krystal Peterson on vocals, keyboards and drums; J. D. Blair on vocals and drums; Derico Watson on vocals and drums; Anthony Wellington on bass, keyboards & vocals; Steve Bailey on bass, keyboards, trombone and vocals; and Dave Welsch on bass, trumpet, keyboards and vocals.
Each musician will multitask (actually switching instruments mid-song) resulting in a part choreographed and part improvised display of musicianship and showmanship at its best. The ensemble received rave reviews on their summer 2012 tour.