Last updated on April 14th, 2023 at 07:53 pm
Music history is full of talented family acts, making it easy to overlook how incredible a family act is when it really works. Whether due to formative musical years spent playing together, shared influences, or a more elusive telepathic connection, the best family acts have unrivaled musical connections.
On Tuesday night at the Dakota, The Wooten Brothers showed why they’re the cream of the crop among family bands and musicians. Victor, Roy (aka “Future Man”), Regi, and Joseph check off all the boxes.
First, each brother is an out-of-this-world musician. Bassist Victor Wooten has the highest profile of the bunch and is one of the absolute best on his instrument. But each of the four is among the elite at their respective craft and has the accomplishments to back it up.
During Tuesday’s show, each had ample time in the spotlight: Regi had several ridiculous electric guitar solos, Joseph took the lead on vocals and a piano medley, and Future Man’s versatile drumming supported and guided the band through all of it.
But chops alone don’t make a great band, never mind an excellent family band. And in the case of the Wooten Brothers, there was a lot more to the show. When introducing the band, Victor talked about the brothers’ musical origins, which go back to birth.
When musicians as talented as the Wooten Brothers play together that long, formally or informally, musical chemistry is developed. That was apparent throughout their set, whether they played hard-driving fusion or a Sly and the Family Stone medley. Their ability to adjust on the fly and make any style sound great is a direct product of their years spent playing together.
One of the coolest moments was when Victor told a story about recovering a cassette demo that the brothers had recorded in the 70s (along with their late brother Rudy). They then played several songs from that demo, which they had re-learned just weeks ago.
Those numbers were fun, well-executed, and distinctively reflective of the era they were recorded in. But to hear the story and see them play music from their youth was nothing short of special and illustrative of the whole show.