Getting started in songwriting also took some time for Wood.
"I'd always sung and written poetry but never really had any interest in learning instruments," he said. "My dad bought me a guitar when I was 13, and it got placed in a closet for seven years. One day, I borrowed a Hank Williams album from a friend, and everything made sense. I pulled the guitar from the closet and called up Robin Kessinger for lessons. Through Robin, I also met Jenny Allinder, who is another huge inspiration. Both Robin and Jenny really pushed me to sing and write."
For Wood, like many other artists, songwriting is his release, his way of getting out his stress and frustrations. That might be why his songs are less than happy.
"The hardest thing for me to do is write a happy song," he said. "Anything I try and write that's happy just feels canned and corny to me. Everyone that has inspired me from the beginning has been tortured."
While in town, Wood plans on recording some songs for a vinyl 7-inch and catching up with friends and family. Vinyl only? In today's digital age?
"I'm pretty vinyl-centric, and my old soul tells me that it makes sense to have vinyl-only releases," said Wood, who works at the renowned Louisville record store Ear X-tacy.
His idols, Hank and Merle, are pretty old-school, too. Wood says that Merle Haggard, who he recently saw perform in Renfro Valley, Ky., is one of his biggest songwriting influences.
"I can't imagine how it must feel to have been writing for such a long period of time. His body of work is just so vast," Wood said. "It's always fantastic to get to see him."
Such a massive song catalog makes it tough for Wood to choose his favorite Haggard tunes.
"Picking a favorite Haggard song is tough," he said. "My rotation of favorites changes with the addition and subtraction of life conditions. Currently, the three that I'm spinning the most are 'Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You,' 'California Cotton Fields' and 'No Reason to Quit.'
"Why these are currently my three favorite is sort of a mystery. I'm not pining for an old love, and I've never even been to California. The third may make the most sense; I really have no reason to quit."
Reach Nick Harrah at wvrocksc...@gmail.com.