Wendy Woo Trio comes to Steve’s
If You go...
Who: Wendy Woo Trio
When: 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 30
Where: Steve’s Guitars
Tickets: Cash at the door
Wendy Woo is a household name on the Front Range (where three Boulder newspapers have named her “best local musician”) and in northern Colorado (where she has a beer named after her), and next Thursday she’s bringing her eclectic sound to the Western Slope when she returns to Steve’s Guitars.
Woo has performed solo shows at Steve’s four or five times, she said, but this time she’s fronting a trio and making a stop at the iconic, guitar-laden venue on her way to Utah.
“It’s such a great little space, and Steve is fantastic,” Woo said. “We love him.”
The Colorado musician is on tour promoting her band’s latest album, “Tipping Point,” a varied collection of songs with styles that range from radio pop rock to dirty blues straight from a dive bar.
The assortment of sounds is the result of multiple songwriters in her band, but it’s also due to Woo’s travels around the state of Colorado.
She was born in New York City, but she moved to Boulder when she was young and lived there until she was 30. The Boulder scene, rooted in folk, bluegrass and jam music, shaped Woo as a musician. She earned her degree in guitar performance from the University of Colorado, and she received a less formal but equally important education from her time bartending and performing at the Fox Theatre.
“Not only was I getting the traditional music education, but I was also getting a pop music education,” she said. She was able to see how bands handled the business side of being musicians, and that helped her when she was ready to give music a serious shot.
Woo moved to Denver in 2001, and while it wasn’t a huge move geographically, the music scene was completely different. It was full of pop and rock bands, and that sound shows up in “Tipping Point.”
“There’s such a big music difference between Boulder and Denver,” she said. “I think I’m able to take elements of all of that.”
“Tipping Point” is a clear reflection of Woo’s Boulder and Denver influences. The album kicks off with “In the Middle,” a radio-friendly, catchy pop rock tune with an infectious chorus. It ends with “Takin’ Pills,” a classic country rock song. And in-between are a few gritty blues tracks and a couple more upbeat numbers for good measure.
“I’ve been working with these same musicians for 10 or 15 years,” she said. “We got together and put our best stuff in the pot, and we picked 10 of the best. Each song is by a different band member, so you get a different style between songs, but you get the cohesion the producer brings.”
The band worked with producer Jim Gaines, whose credits include Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Journey, Huey Lewis and Steve Miller. Woo said Gaines and her band made the process of recording “Tipping Point” pretty seamless.
“It wasn’t challenging at all — it was wonderful,” she said. “In the past, it was me doing it all, but now I have a great crew behind me.”
Woo, who now lives in Loveland, has made her mark on the Front Range and northern Colorado scenes, but she doesn’t plan on stopping there.
“Getting into the Western Slope has been great,” she said. “We’re excited to come out.”
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