Jesse Woods: “Danger In The Dancehall”
Coming out of high school, Jesse Woods was touted as a highly-prized talent, but not for his musical abilities. Rather, he was given a scholarship to play wide receiver at Texas A&M, but after four years and five surgeries, Woods decided to take off the pads and pick up a guitar and follow his dreams of being a country singer.
It’s not an unusual route–A&M has produced country royalty like Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen over the years. But in an interview with ESPN, Woods noted he was a bit different from his fellow Aggies and teammates, describing himself as the “hippie of the team.” Indeed, his music is more celestial than the terrestrial musings of Lovett and Keen, and his friendship with Alan Palomo of Neon Indian might paint a better picture. Woods’s 2010 debut EP Moon Rocks is understated but adventurous, featuring late-night acoustic ramblings along with a cover of Neon Indian’s trippy “Mind, Drips.” Woods now calls Austin home and his self-produced sound certainly fits with the local vibe. Yet the singer looks poised to break on a bigger scale with Get Your Burdens Lifted, his debut full-length. Set for release next year, the album mixes Woods’s twang with orchestral flourishes that make these songs truly live up to the title.
The record’s first taste, “Danger In The Dancehall,” has already received attention from Rolling Stone, and with good reason. It’s a hard look at what life is like for a lot of his generation. “I’m young and off the reservation…/I’m young and life’s a vacation” might sound appealing, but the surrounding chords are definitely in a minor key. “Essentially the song is about insecurity in youth – a juxtaposition between fear and not really knowing what to fear,” Woods told Rolling Stone.”You’re young and everything is in front of you, but you’re getting older and the highs start getting higher making the lows feel lower so everything seems kind of messed up. You’ve got this new found freedom and the whole world at your fingertips and no idea what to do with it.” It’s a scary proposition, but taking that first big step is certainly exhilarating.