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- On 11 Nov | '2011
A legend in the making, Kipori Woods is a Blues, Funk and Funk Master vocalist and guitarist from New Orleans. Schooled under the direction of Ellis Marsalis, this fledgling ‘blues man from down south’ won OffBeat Magazine’s Best New Blues Artist two consecutive years, in 1998-1999.
On his second album the man they call ‘Baby Wolf’ took his fans on a musical trek, telling his story, from ‘The Day I Started playing the Blues’ to the ‘Hard Times’ and his aspirations for a ‘Big Black Cadillac’.
Kipori Woods is a talented blues guitarist rich with the wisdom of ages, he shows the maturity and control of a seasoned veteran and has the guitar chops to match.
Music became a part of Kipori’s life at an early age. His grandfather “Luscious” Lloyd Lambert, the legendary New Orleans bass player who worked with the likes of Ray Charles, Little Richard, Danny Barker and Doc Cheatham, raised him. From Lambert, Kipori learned the ins and outs of the music business.
Kipori’s first taste of the stage came while working with renowned gospel greats like the Zion Harmonizers and Raymond Myles. A funk outfit, Kipori Funk, Later let the budding artist stretch his talents in other directions, but the blues was always calling.
“I’ve always been influenced by the blues,” says Kipori, but it wasn’t until my grandfather passed in 1996 that I really got serious about playing the blues.”
Taking his cues from masters like B.B. King, Buddy and Jimi Hendrix, Kipori’s sound blends blues classics and modern flavors. His fretwork is at turns fierce and playful. His songs range from blues ballads to jumping firetorms of sound. His vocals flow strong from a well that belies his age and often take clever, unexpected turns.
On stage, Kipori is an engaging entertainer with boundless energy. He moves as though his guitar were a part of him, becoming one with the audience in an escalating dance of seduction. Kipori taunts, teases, and tickles the crowd until they beg for more. When Kipori and the band get grooving, the whole club shimmies with exuberance.
“I just go out there and be me,” says Kipori.” I try to put on a good show because I want the people to have a good time.”
Kipori perfected his high-energy performance in numerous New Orleans nightclubs. His soaring set with Davell Crawford at the 1999 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage remains one of the most remarkable performances of that year’s festival. Kipori has also toured extensively throughout the U. S. and Europe. He has shared the stage with notables such as The Neville Brothers, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis, Kermit Ruffins, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John as well as toured with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band for almost two years.
In 1998, Kipori’s self-produced debut CD, “Blues Man From Down South,” garnered enthusiatic support from local and national reviewers. The CD Sizzled with Kipori’s clever urban blues and featured a rich texture that included hints of New Orleans funk, soul swamp groove and jazz. However, ‘The Baby Wolf’ has matured, giving him a sound of his own and labeling him as one of the Big Easy’s premiere blues performers.
In 2012, Wood’s album Blues Gone Wild was shortlisted for OffBeat ‘s Best Blues Album.
“This is an album you put on at a party to keep the mood light and fun.” – Peter Dupont, Where Y’at Magazine
“Clean guitar-picking and lyrics that sometimes wound their way into risque territory” – Laura McKnight, The Times Picayune
“Uptown Blues” has good energy, with solid guitar work from the hands of Woods.” – Bob Putignano, Blues Revue Magazine
“Kipori “Baby Wolf” Woods was raised in part by his grandfather, the venerable New Orleans bassist “Luscious” Lloyd Lambert. Thus, at an early age, Woods was tuned in to the sound and style of Guitar Slim, whom Lambert backed.” – Keith Spera, The Times Picayune
“Kipori Woods was heralded as a rising young blues star.” – Gambit Magazine
Visit Kipori Woods’ Facebook page here