On Monday night, September 9, lead singer and co-founder of Grammy-winning band, NEEDTOBREATH, Bear Rinehart, headlined at Music Hall of Williamsburg under his solo musical moniker, Wilder Woods. Rinehart celebrates the opening of this new chapter with the drop of his debut, self-titled album, Wilder Woods, released August 9, 2019. His style can only be described as a musical cocktail of 70s funky beats, classic soul lyrics, R&B rhythms, and old school Rock’n’Roll swagger, garnished with smoky riffs and twangy guitars.
The crowd trickled in, shaking umbrellas from the rain in when the doors opened at 7 pm to the multi-storied music venue in Williamsburg. Wilder Woods walks the walk as he sings the talk, coming on stage with a swanky attitude to match the spirit of his music. Woods gave the massive crowd what they wanted and played some of the already popular songs on his album, including, light-hearted “Supply & Demand,” explosive and swoon-worthy “Electric Woman,” rhythmic “Sure Ain’t,” and tragic “What gives You The Right.”
Woods also graced us with his record opener, the seductive “Light Shine In.” Starting as a slow and delicate whisper, it revs up to a spiritual roar giving everyone all the feels.
The family-oriented musician also wrote a good chunk of his songs using his wife, Mary Reames Rinehart, as his muse. Each song is a piece of their narrative that weaves into a beautiful romance. From the lighting effect, he felt the first time he met her in “Electric Woman,” to the reassuring “Mary, You’re Wrong” in the face of uncertainty, to the finale “Hillside House,” a gospel-infused bit about the future.
My favorite song of the night was his heart-wrenching and tender acoustic ballad “Someday Soon.” Wood’s cutting vocals that make you take a second listen, and with the minimalistic acoustic guitar melody cut to the audience’s core. A song about wrestling with doubt and shame, there were definitely a few tears in the audience as they sang along.
Although with plenty of experience under his belt, Rinehart’s creation of Wilder Woods is certainly different from anything he has done before. His new sound is pleasantly surprising and refreshing. Be sure to catch him and his openers as they finish up their tour around the US and Europe.