MALTBY — With a third album about to drop, bluesman Clint “C.D.” Woodbury may no longer be one of the Northwest’s best kept music secrets.
Woodbury, 50, has been nominated for Washington Blues Society’s Best of the Blues Awards year after year.
Since forming in 2010, his band has won 11 Best of the Blues Awards, including Best Blues Performer, Best Blues Songwriter, Best Northwest Recording and Best Electric Guitar. Woodbury has won Best Electric Guitar five times in the past 10 years.
A trio since 2015, Maltby’s CD Woodbury is made up of frontman Woodbury on guitar, Don Montana on drums and Rob Baker on bass.
The band has three albums to its name: “Live at Sunbanks” (2011), which was recorded at the Sunbanks Music Festival near the Coulee Dam, “Monday Night!” (2013) and, now, “World’s Gone Crazy,” set to be released on Friday.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Woodbury said. “Seven years is a long time to wait for an album.”
In 2017, when the band was working on their second album as a trio, Woodbury discovered his hands were giving out on him. A doctor diagnosed Woodbury with tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands — and told him that he needed surgery if he wanted to keep playing the guitar.
CD Woodbury was put on hold for six months in 2018 as Woodbury recovered from his surgeries. There was talk of breaking up the band, until the healing frontman realized he didn’t have to give up the blues after all.
“When the Band-Aids came off, so to speak, I was playing the guitar better than I had in a long time,” he said. “It was like, ‘Wow! Playing the guitar is fun again, it doesn’t hurt and I’m doing it better.’”
Not only was the band back together, but CD Woodbury represented Washington in the 2020 International Blues Challenge held at Memphis, Tennessee, around the time the coronavirus hit Snohomish County.
But the band wasn’t immune to the virus. Woodbury said all three band members were sick with COVID-19 after their last performance in March.
“I couldn’t get a test while I had it, and I have not yet gotten an antibody test, but I’m convinced all three of us got it, just looking at the symptoms and how sick everyone was for so long,” Woodbury said.
Some of the tracks on the 13-song album, including “Follow the River Home,” “World’s Gone Crazy” and “Emerald City Blues,” have already gotten radio play on KSER-FM, KVSH-FM and KPTZ-FM.
Woodbury has high hopes for “World’s Gone Crazy,” because of how much play “Monday Night!’ received.
“Monday Night!” was No. 1 on Roots Music Reports’ Washington independent radio chart and peaked at No. 8 on the international independent blues radio chart.
“World’s Gone Crazy” features Woodbury on guitar, Montana on drums, Patrick McDanel on bass and Mike Marinig on keyboard and saxophone. All of the members provided vocals, but Woodbury is the lead.
Baker replaced McDanel on bass after the album was recorded and also helped with its production. He’s been with the band for about five months.
“It’s a wonderful challenge,” Baker said of playing with CD Woodbury. “Patrick McDanel is a fabulous bass player, and I’m humbled to have to fill his shoes.”
Woodbury wrote or co-wrote seven of the songs on the album, which also features covers of Koko Taylor’s “Wang Dang Doodle,” Tad Robinson’s “Last Go Around” and “Hey Joe” — a song best known for the version by Jimi Hendrix, and the band’s most requested song when playing live.
“We tried recording (‘Hey Joe’) before and it just hasn’t worked out,” he said. “This time we did it completely live in the studio in one take, and that was the magic track.”
Woodbury wrote the title track “World’s Gone Crazy” well before 2020, but he says it still resonates with today’s America.
“I obviously didn’t foresee this level of craziness,” he said. “It was written way ahead of what is happening now, but it does cover the whole American insanity in dealing with politics and the media in the modern world.”
Montana, who has been with the band all 10 years, said “World’s Gone Crazy” is just as good as “Monday Night!” — but in different ways.
“‘World’s Gone Crazy’ is a pretty solid album,” he said. “We put quite a bit into it, and C.D.’s songwriting is improving.”
Woodbury said the trio is working on a fourth album to be released next year, so that they don’t have another seven-year gap in recordings.
“Don has nearly completed his own studio at our rehearsal space, and Robert is a respected recording engineer, too, so I’m really optimistic about this one,” he said.
The band is more focused on Washington Blues Society’s 2020 Best of the Blues Awards, which is set for July 26, than planning a CD release party. But that doesn’t mean a live-stream celebration isn’t in the works.
This year, CD Woodbury is nominated for three Best of the Blues Awards: Woodbury is up for Best Electric Guitar, Montana has a nom for Best Drummer and McDanel is up for Best Bass.
Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; firstname.lastname@example.org; @sarabruestle.
If you stream
CD Woodbury recorded live-stream shows on July 6 and July 14 at Studio Rob in Everett in celebration of the band’s new album “World’s Gone Crazy” receiving international radio and internet airplay in advance of its July 24 release. Watch the shows on Clint Woodbury’s Facebook page at tinyurl.com/CDWoodburyJuly6 and tinyurl.com/CDWoodburyJuly14. Donate to the band’s tip jar via PayPal at www.paypal.me/cdwoodbury or Venmo at www.venmo.com/cdwoodbury.