100 Acre Wood

100 Acre Wood at the Rudyard Kipling

By Darrell Ray Elmore

Jeeez! There's like six of 'em! It's kinda like a young/old hippie band! And the Rudyard is packed! l mean really packed! Not like some of those bands I fib about because they are my friends.

The Rud is looking quite festive, hung throughout with those damned chili pepper lights. The crowd is made up of cute girls and twenty-something guys of the ballcap-contingent … enough goatees and side-burns to carpet a house.

Two acoustic guitars (one of em a twelve-string), one violin (kinda like that JohnCougar band, only it's a guy), one bass, one electric guitar, and a drummer. Celtic alt.rock? Faux-Pogues? Can you say Senn Fein Collective?

Okay, maybe not quite that lrish. Too bad the sound system is such a piece of (expletive deleted).

Deadhead Celtic? Just what we need.

l can just see 'em on the MTV: skinny little girls with mousey-brown hair whirling dervishly in tie~dyed skirts among the standing stones at Stonehenge. The camera pulls in tight on the violin player - then we get one of those rising helicopter shots - the throngs of cute-but-kinda-dirty-looking girls scatter like Autumn leaves ...

Okay, maybe these guys aren't Celtic sounding at all. How would I know? I've never seen one of those Celtic bands … that's Decimus Rock's gig.

Nate Thumas, six-string acoustic gui- tarist and one of the two vocalists in the band, tells me they're "progressive folk/blues/rock." Richie Oeffinger, lead guitarist (electric), tells me they "have been playing for about nine months," and that they won the "Battle of the Bands" at the car show last February.

One of the other guys (maybe drum- mer Mark Book, or bassist Ben Schneider, orviolinist John Shiner, or twelve-string acoustic/vox-dude Paul Moeller or it might have been that Thumas guy) tells me the word "xylophagus" means "feeding on or within wood."

I like these guys.

They all look kinda young and nerdy, like Speed School students or something, but they are obviously quite talented and appear to have a great time on stage.

All those guitars mix well and the violin adds a nice, distinctive flavor. The music is forward moving, high spirited, perhaps manic. Seems like most of the songs get faster … I wonder if that's what Nate meant by "progressive"?

Yeah, l kinda like this nice, fresh- faced bunch of kids. Eager, cocky, but innocent. And that innocence burns big and bright, beckoning across the gulf of a million rock shows and jaded musicians - ahh, youth. If you could bottle it - then you'd have something.

They want to go on tour soon.

That'll probably kill it.

100 Acre Wood is featured at the Twice-Told Coffeehouse in January.

They currently have a cassette available at gigs for $7 which features ten original songs. They are releasing a CD this spring.They also publish a monthly newsletter, and there's even talk of a web site. Groovy.