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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI communications professor sings folksy tunes on latest CD

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 11, 2002 -- If you like your folk music red, white, and blue relaxing, slip in Steve Wood’s newest CD, Muley Point Mud, just released by Neoga Records.

Wood creates an Americana pie of songs that combine such classics as Mr. Bojangles with new tunes such as one about our national pastime, Baseball Is An American Game.

Baseball, by the way, is a passionate research subject for Wood whose main gig is professor and chair of communications studies at the University of Rhode Island. In fact, Doc, as he prefers to be called, is writing a book about its portrayal in films called "Reel Baseball." but that’s another story.

By day, this folk singer and sometime songwriter teaches classes, but by night he’s often found recording his songs in the basement studio of his South Kingstown home using his Roland digital recorder.

Wood gets some help from his talented friends and relatives on this, his second CD. Joe Parillo of North Kingstown, jazz pianist, head of the jazz program at URI, and owner of Neoga Records joins in a few tunes, adding sparkle to Summertime and coolness to San Francisco Bay Blues.

Wood’s brother, Doug, a blues musician based in California, adds a puff of class with some terrific harmonica playing, keeping "This Train" right on track.

Debbie Clough of York, Maine, Wood’s sister-in-law, adds her fine voice to some of the tunes, as does longtime friend Joe Miller of Westerly.

Wood puts English professor Don Kunz’s poem "The Flute Player," which centers on the vistas and images of the American West, to music.

Inspiration for the title song "Muley Point Mud" came from a trip out West and getting stuck, temporarily in the mud.

Other than his brother’s harmonica and Parillo’s piano playing, Wood plays all the instruments, including a Taylor Dan Crary Model 6-string guitar, a Guild 12-string guitar, a Martin all mahogany D15, a 1923 Gibson trap-door tenor banjo, a five-string banjo, a Yamaha classical guitar, a 1930s Stradolin mandolin, and a Dean acoustic fretted bass. Wood inherits his love for music from his father, a jazz artist and music teacher.

The URI professor put the CD together in his basement studio. Typically, each song is assembled one layer (instrument or voice) at a time. These "tracks" are then mixed together to create a final version.

Wood performs locally, but not regularly. When he does perform, it’s generally with his URI pals, Steve Myles from the Counseling Center and Paul deMesquita of the Psychology Department. The trio, called the "Cognitive Dissidents," performs social justice songs.

For Information: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

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