Woods Tea Company returned to Colgate on Thursday to perform for a crowd of avid fans, as well as first timers, in Donovan’s Pub. The cozy space provided a comfortable atmosphere for students to consume pre-concert pizza, snacks and soft drinks.
Following a tradition established by band founder Rusty Jacobs, the band put out a can to collect money for children in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Woods Tea Co. is comprised of Tom MacKenzie, Howard Wooden and Mike Lussen. Woods Tea Co.’s fourth member varies from show to show. On Thursday, Morgan Lamphear added his acoustic guitar skills and a hand drum called a djembe to the mix. The four of them began the show singing an entire song in a cappella harmonies. However, there was no shortage of instrumentation throughout the remainder of the performance. Instruments included acoustic guitar, bass guitar, banjo, ukulele, hammered dulcimer and percussion instruments.
From mournful ballads, such as “There Were Roses,” to lighthearted tunes like “The Cat Came Back,” to instrumental bluegrass melodies, Woods Tea Co. blended traditional folk and Celtic music with their original compositions. They also blended familiar songs with songs from their newest album, The Passage.
Students responded enthusiastically to these more familiar songs, such as “Finnegan’s Wake” and “The Dutchman,” often singing or clapping in unison with or without instruction to do so from the band members. Vocalist and bassist Wooden commented on Colgate students’ participation throughout the performance, in addition to dedicating several songs to Colgate students. He showed his familiarity with this audience, joking with them throughout the show.
During a brief intermission audience members gathered around band members, requesting songs for the second half. Upon returning to stage, the band primarily played these requests in the second half and other familiar pieces in which students could participate.
Acoustic guitarist and percussionist Morgan Lamphear performed one solo piece during the second half, a sea chantey from his new album.
The band initially closed with “Alberta Bound.” At the first chorus, Colgate students sprung into the aisles and empty space around the front of the room in unison to dance, swinging one another by the elbows, and sing along with this familiar tune. Wooden insisted that everyone be standing by the end of the song, so those who were not comfortable dancing stood clapping in their seats as the band finished the song, put down their instruments and walked off stage.
Woods Tea Co. returned to the stage for two encores, playing, for their first return, an audience favorite that fans requested by shouting out a pirate’s “Argh!” Returning for the second encore, the band finished with “This Little Light of Mine,” after which the audience seemed finally satisfied that Woods Tea Co. had performed for long enough.
After the concert, Woods Tea Co. members sold their albums, including their most recent album after the show, as well as Morgan Lamphear’s album.
This show was part of the Thursday Night Pub Music Series. Make sure to keep your eye out for more great music at the Pub later this semester!