A stalwart of Nashville, Tennessee’s country scene, Runner of the Woods is fronted by Nick Beaudoing, who draws from honky-tonk, indie rock, and even his French roots. In the end, it all comes out sounding like country. At long last, he understands this is a beautiful thing.
The band’s 2015 debut album, “Thirsty Valley”, showcased “countrygaze”, a signature sound featuring punchy guitars, reverb-heavy pedal steel, and odes to nature’s wide open spaces. It’s music for country fans who know better than to pretend their record collection is pure. For every George Jones LP on the shelf, there’s another by Big Star, Wilco, or A.A. Bondy.
Beaudoing previously led New York City’s Cajun honky-tonkers, the Doc Marshalls. Over the course of three releases, the band evolved from Bakersfield country and Acadian barnburners to jagged, glimmering folk.
In 2019 Runner of the Woods released a new single and video, “Acadiana Girls”. The song is a nod to Beaudoing’s long history with Cajun music, but it also hints at the need to escape the confines of a traditional music scene. Sometimes you need to get away, even from a place you love. The video features the violent destruction of Cajun accordions by his young sons (no functional accordions were harmed). A closer listen reveals the song for what it truly is — a love letter to a region close to his heart, Louisiana’s Acadian heartland.
2022 finds Runner of the Woods woodshedding and writing in preparation for a new record, to be released in 2023. They are also recording a tribute album to legendary Quebec folksinger, Gilles Vigneault.
Runner of the Woods is:
Nicolas Beaudoing: Guitars/Vocals/Cajun Accordion
Stephen Daly: Lead Guitar
Billy Contreras: Fiddle
Eric Frey: Bass
Nick Davidson et al: Drums