by Rachel Swan
Sometimes flat and folksy, sometimes raggedy and guttural, Boulder-raised duo the Wood Brothers fall in the same vein as groups like the Black Keys: slack, bluesy guitar melodies, acoustic sonority, raw vocals that lend extra gravitas to songs about love and loneliness and the passage of time. Considering their divergent backgrounds -- bassist Chris Wood came up in the New York jazz scene, while his brother Oliver played guitar in Atlanta and adopted a much rootsier style -- theses guys show a level of musical depth that's unparalleled in mainstream rock.
Their new release Loaded, recorded under the wing of New York jazz label Blue Note, is mostly a folk album -- though it could appeal to fans of any scene. Jazz musicians would appreciate the complexity of the Wood Brothers' song structures ("Pray Enough" is straight gospel blues with an organ set against and electric guitar), while folk and rock junkies would enjoy the Brothers' intensity of feeling and the unvarnished quality of their lyrics. The Wood Brothers perform tonight (Tues., April 22) at San Francisco's Cafe du Nord (2170 Market St.). 9 p.m. $15