This Friday, January 11th, Colorado’s WhiteWater Ramble will release the second song in a series of forthcoming singles and videos called, aptly, “Drinking Song.” This is the first track from the high-octane Rocky Mountain dance-grass band by founding member and James Brown guitarist Damon Wood. The accompanying video follows January’s release of “Hollow,” the dramatic first single from the band in six years.
“Drinking Song” is, as it claims to be, a drinking song. The story of a blue collar man, longing for a cool beverage after a hard day’s work, and willingly accepting whatever variety might come his way. Comically, the song is written in F#, which is traditionally an opposing key for bluegrass tunes, and which piano players can’t possibly “capo up” to, as other string musicians may. Writer and guitarist Damon Wood formerly played guitar in the James Brown band and joked about capo-ing up to “all the black keys,” as Brown used to say, so in a small way, this tune pays tribute to those years. Wood also wrote a popular book on his experiences, “Working for The Man, Playing in The Band: My Years with James Brown,” which was an Amazon top selection for music biographies at the time of its release. Wood has been touring with co-founder Patrick Sites and WhiteWater Ramble for over 10 years.
“I wrote Drinking Song right around 2013-14 when marijuana was legalized in Colorado for recreational use. Some good friends of mine had one of the first licenses to do rec business and they employed a lot of our friends. I pretty much met all those people at the local Grateful Dead bar Sancho's Broken Arrow, over the years,” says Wood, recalling how he wrote the simple but effective lyrics. “The opening line just refers to how I figured some of them would feel getting off work at the pot shop and going out for some drinks. Jager bombs, pale ale and Jameson are definitely drinks frequented at that establishment. As for the rest, I just tried to include as many kinds of drinks as I could and find some silly rhymes to tie it all together. There is a reference to Hi Pac, Highland Pacific Restaurant, which was a great seafood restaurant/music venue that we all played at a bunch over the years. Chef Ed Kammerer and Co. had the best Seafood Cioppino. It also references that it was a Widespread Panic bar- ‘My liver had a Panic attack but not of the Widespread beat.’ The ‘leaving my supper on the street’ refers to how strong the Tsunamis were- a favorite house concoction. For WhiteWater Ramble, we added the double time fiddle solo outro. Just another drinking song to go with the rest, really. I'm sure I was drinking at the time.”
“Drinking Song” follows the first single in six years from WhiteWater Ramble, the dramatic and statement-making video and song “Hollow.” Released in January and available on all streaming platforms, “Hollow” begins the band’s exploration into raising awareness about gun violence with their music and high-production mini-films. The song is the first of a series exploring this sensitive subject and while “Drinking Song” is not part of that series, it’s a welcome reprieve from important but difficult to discuss topics. “Drinking Song” is available on all streaming platforms on Friday, January 11th, and premiering on YouTube at 10am MT here: