Five-time Grammy award winning musician, Victor Wooten, kicks off a new tour across the United States today to support his new double CD release. This is his latest project that is sure to please fans all over the world. Words and Tones is a collection of original music featuring female vocalists and Sword and Stone is an instrumental version of many of the same songs from Words and Tones. In a recent interview with Wooten, he talked about this new project, how his bass playing has evolved over the years and much more.
The latest musical project is something Wooten has never done before. This comes to no surprise to people who know him, as he is always breaking new boundaries when it comes to music. “I first planned on doing an album with female vocalists,” he explained, “They write the lyrics so they sing what’s true to them. They heard the melodies I had in mind.” From there, he decided to also release an instrumental version of the music. Female vocalists on Words and Tones include Saundra Williams (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings), Divinity Roxx (Beyoncé), Claudette Sierra, Krystal Peterson and Me’shell Ndegeocello. Guest performers include his children, The Wooten Brothers, J. D. Blair (Shania Twain), Joey Kibble (Take 6), Derico Watson on drums, Pedro “Pedrito” Martinez on percussion, and many more. He spoke about the recording process. “I use Pro Tools and my own studio. In most cases, it’s just me, by myself. I then bring in musicians as I hear them, and sometimes I bring the whole band in,” he said.
Wooten is one of the most sought after bass players in the world. He candidly spoke about how his playing has evolved over the years. “Hopefully, it’s become better,” he said. He used the example of how photographs of him over the years have subtle changes, and he uses that analogy to talk about his playing – that there have been subtle changes in his playing over the years. “Now I’m less about flashier techniques and more about songwriting,” he said.
Besides touring heavily throughout this year, there are many other things in store for fans. For one, Wooten is in the process of writing a follow up book to The Music Lesson. He said that he’s been working on it for a while. “I’m trying not to force it and writing as I feel it,” he stated. The follow up book will see a lot of the same characters with the addition of some new ones. On January 29th, Compass Records began distributing A Show of Hands 15, a re-released version of Wooten’s solo debut album, which has been meticulously re-mastered and includes previously unreleased bonus tracks, including an enhanced version of “U Can’t Hold No Groove” with JD Blair on drums and percussion, “Flip Flop”, a new song also featuring Blair, and “Live Solo #2”, an unedited live solo performance recorded at a 2003 Flecktones’ concert showcasing Wooten with just a bass and looping pedal. Also, several times throughout the year, Wooten hosts Vix Camps in a beautiful area located near Nashville, Tennessee. Vix Camps is now in its twelfth year. It’s for anyone 13 years of age and up, and it’s not just for bass players. It’s for any type of instrument and every type of playing level.
For anyone who read The Music Lesson, it’s evident that Wooten is a very centered and positive person. In fact, he has some great advice to share: “Stress, disappointment and failure are a part of life. You must first recognize the negative parts as necessary parts of growth. There are no successes without failures…don’t allow it to break you down. Let it make you stronger.”
The Victor Wooten Band kicks off their tour tonight in Kansas City. A full tour schedule is below. 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. Wooten is also giving some bass clinics in select cities.
For more information about Victor: http://www.victorwooten.com/
For more information about Vix Camps: http://www.vixcamps.com/
Victor Wooten Band Shows:
Fri, 2-08 Knuckleheads Saloon, Kansas City, MO
Sat, 2-09 Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver, CO
Sun, 2-10 Vilar Center for the Arts, Beaver Creek, CO
Mon, 2-11 State Room, Salt Lake City, UT
Tues, 2-12 Knitting Factory, Boise, ID
Wed, 2-13 Triple Door, Seattle, WA
Fri, 2-15 Shedd Institute for the Arts, Eugene, OR
Sat, 2-16 Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR
Mon, 2-18 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA
Tues, 2-19 Yoshi’s,Oakland, CA
Wed, 2-20 Yoshi’s,Oakland, CA
Thurs, 2-21 Napa Valley Opera House, Napa, CA
Fri, 2-22 El Rey Theater, Los Angeles, CA
Sat, 2-23 Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ
Victor Wooten Clinics
Sat, 2-09 Sonic Sense, Sheridan, CO
Tues, 2-19 Bananas at Large, San Rafael, CA
Sat, 2-23 Sam Ash Music, Glendale, AZ