By Todd Houston
Special to TRRT
Rockford Rocked: What has Dave Wood been up to?
Dave Wood: I have been playing regularly on Monday and Wednesday nights with the Dave Potter Trio and play with several different bands on weekends. I just played on a recent release by Westside Andy called “Blues Just Happen”.
RRI: Tell us about when you first became interested in playing music and the electric guitar.
DW: My first influence was seeing Louis Armstrong on television. I first started playing the Hammond organ when I was five and played xylophone and percussion in the grade school band. The Jimi Hendrix (Band of Gypsies) song “Who knows” made me want to play guitar.
RRI:While everyone else was listening to REO Speedwagon and Loverboy you were learning Albert King and Peter Green licks. How did you get so deep into the blues at such an early age?
DW: My dad first heard blues (Jimmy Reed) in Texas in the ’50s so I grew up listening to blues around the house. I saw Muddy Waters open for Erin Clapton when I was 11. I was hooked.
RRI: I was told that your father was responsible for hooking you up with a 1956 Fender Stratocaster when you were around 17 years old. You ultimately had that guitar autographed in person by Eric Clapton. Tell us a little about the guitar and the meeting with “Slow Hand”.
DW: In 1983 my dad knew the manager at the Rockford Metro Center. I had three backstage passes so my friends and I waited after the show to meet him. His road manager ended up kicking us out but we knew where he was staying. His limo pulled up in front of us at the hotel and I pulled my guitar out. He asked to play it so I asked him if he would sign it. It’s funny because he told me that he had only signed one other guitar before that, a Les Paul in Kansas city. Shortly after that guitars were signed for auction for Amnesty international.
RRI: You made the switch to bass guitar some years back. Was it easier to get gigs?
DW: There is a shortage of bass players compared to guitar. Bass is always in demand and being versatile has helped me a lot.
RRI: Rumor has it that you have played alongside some big names including Buddy Guy. Are there any gigs that stand out among the rest for you?
DW: Playing at the Chess studio in Chicago was the most memorable gig because most of my favorite blues artists were recorded there. The room sound just like the records.
RRI: You’re also a trained chef. If you were asked to make a meal for a party of six or more what would it be and why?
DW: For some reason I can’t deal with the smell of meat cooking but I make a mean curried lentil and potato soup.
RRI: I’m going to say a name or phrase and you answer with the first thing that pops into your head.
RRI: Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin).
DW: Another master of the Telecaster.
RRI: Fishing on the Rock River.
DW: World class catfish.
RRI: Boca Burgers and tofu.
DW: Not a fan.
RRI: What’s next for Dave Wood?
DW: Keep playing and hold down a solid groove.