Blazing Elwoods release CD with Island connection

Brent Wohlberg holding up his new CD ‘Don’t Sell the Car.’

LEVACK—Brent Wohlberg and the Blazing Elwoods have released ‘Don’t Sell the Car,’ a CD with more than a few connections to Manitoulin Island. Mr. Wohlberg spoke with The Expositor about his band’s new CD, its Island connections and all things musical.

Mr. Wohlberg is the son of Elwood and Marilyn Wohlberg of Manitowaning and his co-writer of two of the CDs songs, Rick Moggy, is the son of Little Current’s John Moggy. Kevin Closs, a son of Marilyn Wohlberg and a familiar face on the Island music scene, also contributes his talents in the CD’s song performances.

“I was so fortunate in the people who came out to help with putting this CD together,” said Mr. Wohlberg. “There were people like Sarah Matt, Joey Fiorino, Chris (Pepper) Peplinsky and Guy Coutu.”

Mr. Wohlberg said that he was “blown away” by his good fortune in having famed fiddler Donny Reed contribute the the CD. “Donny Reed has actually played with Dwight Yokum in Nashville, the guy is huge. But you couldn’t ask for a more humble, modest guy.”

Mr. Wohlberg lists his key musical influences as Johnny Cash and Stompin Tom Conner. “You know I grew up on a completely different kind of music,” he said. “I really only came to country in the last 10 years.” His influences come through clearly in the music contained in ‘Blazing Elwoods.’ “I am more old school country,” he said. “Johnny Cash and Stompin Tom have really been my role models. It all started with ‘I Walk the Line.’”

Certainly the credits on the CD contain a veritable who’s who of the Sudbury music scene, but while a lot of the titles are familiar (‘Dirty Old Town,’ ‘The Motorcycle Song’ and ‘Brother’) there are no covers between the covers of the Blazing Elwoods. “I am the king of ripping off song titles,” laughs Mr. Wohlberg. The CD is, however, entirely original music.

Mr. Wohlberg prefers the old style of country. “There is something of AC/DC and Led Zepplin in the new country, don’t you think?” he asked. The raw storytelling purity of old-style country transcends power guitar licks and the themes strike closer to the heart with their purity of emotion. “It’s powerful stuff,” he said of the old country style.

The title of the CD is a playful shoutout to his father, as is the car featured on the CD cover. “It’s my dad’s car,” admits Mr. Wohlberg. “And I hope it stays his for a very long time, forever really.”

‘Blazing Elwoods’ can be found at The Expositor office in Little Current and the pharmacies in Little Current and Mindemoya.

Michael Erskine