The Steel Woods may only have two albums out, but the band’s members played music long before they came together to record.
“We all knew each other as musicians,” said guitarist Jason “Rowdy” Cope, who played guitar for Jamey Johnson’s band for 10 years.
The Steel Woods will perform during an Aug. 1 concert at The Plant in downtown Dothan. The show promises a healthy serving of country and Southern rock.
Whiskey Myers, a band from Texas with a new album set for release in September, was featured in the Kevin Costner series “Yellowstone” in 2018 – both on the soundtrack and on screen. Them Dirty Roses, whose members are originally from Gadsden, will also perform.
The Steel Woods features band members Wes Bayliss on guitar and vocals (the Alabama native plays a few additional instruments as well); Cope on guitars; Johnny Stanton on bass; and Jay Tooke on drums.
The band released its first album, “Straw in the Wind,” in 2017. A second album, “Old News,” came out in January.
Bayliss and Cope became friends after playing on the same stage in Dickson, Tennessee.
“We were just out playing one night, and we were backing up a guy and that guy took a break and we just started playing,” Cope said. “I was doing this show I called Guitarmageddon and I invited him to be a part of it. It just evolved from there. We started hanging out and going fishing. Then we started writing together.”
The songwriting partnership between Cope and Bayliss clicked.
“It just seemed to work,” Cope said. “Sometimes with musicians it’s a yin and yang thing. Their strengths are your weaknesses and vice versa.”
They picked of Jay Tooke and Johnny Stanton along the way to round out The Steel Woods.
Cope and Bayliss are constantly songwriting and each song comes together differently, selected for albums based on common themes (mortality is a big theme on “Old News”). Among the original tracks on “Old News,” The Steel Woods include songs to honor artists who inspired them – Tom Petty, Gregg Allman, Merle Haggard and Wayne Mills. They also throw in a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Changes.”
Music critics have described The Steel Woods as Southern rock revivalists along with Whiskey Myers and others. They’ve developed a loyal following among fans of their live shows.
Cope said accolades are nice, but the band is just doing what they like to do, getting inspiration from blue collar rockers who came before them.
“I just hope we don’t stub our toe on the moon trying to hit the galaxy,” Cope joked.