Donovan Woods Shares His Life on the Road

Musicians are always in the middle of a balancing act.

Between touring and family, labels and independence, commercial appeal and authenticity, artists will forever face impossible choices. Donovan Wood’s latest album is a quiet yet defiant stand against such dichotomies. Titled Both Ways, the record is a reply to those who say you can’t do it all. “What started the idea was people telling me, ‘You can’t have it both ways,’” says Woods. “Or, ‘You can’t have a record full of thoughtful lyrics that also gets played on the radio’…this is just me trying to have both.”

The Nashville based artist is currently on the road touring the new album and shared his life on the road with us. Check out his tour guide and diary below and be sure to catch Woods with his band this summer

Must have van snacks:
Musicians eat tortilla chips. Everywhere you go, there are tortilla chips. I like to have some light purple Gatorade around.

Favorite venue ever played:
Massey Hall in Toronto, but I did really really like The Avalon Theatre in Easton, Maryland.

What venue has been the most exciting on your tour:
I’m excited about the Hotel Cafe in L.A. because you hear a lot of lore about it. Though usually when you arrive at a venue, it’s suddenly just a venue.

What cities did you/are you looking forward to most on tour:
I’d never been to Belgium before, so I was excited about that. I was probably most excited about London, though. I really love it there.

City with the best food + some examples:
I’m in Nashville part-time, so I really have to say Nashville. It ain’t easy to eat light, but man is it good. Great tacos all over.

Best show you played on this tour and why:
Haven’t played yet, but a hometown show is always nice. Makes you feel loved.

What’s in your rider:
No bottled water! I think there’s chocolate on there, and some cute things about local beer. I haven’t seen the rider in a while, to be honest. Also, light purple Gatorade. I know that’s on there. 

If you could have a day off in any city, which city would you choose:
New York

Best city to Tinder:
I have never Tindered personally. Though I sometimes look at Eric’s, my tour manager, and do a little swiping. Feels good. And if he answered this, I think he would say Montreal.

5 must haves on the road:
Vitamin C, Kindle, a good black hoody, baby wipes, an easygoing and buoyant spirit.

First concert you saw and where:
The first shows I saw were folk festivals in Canada, like the Mariposa Festival. I saw Emmy-Lou Harris there when I was quite young and I loved her.

What is your guilty pleasure album right now:
Taylor Swift’s Reputation. I do not feel guilty. Tracks 10-15 start to really cook.

What would be your dream collaboration, alive or not:
Lori McKenna

Weirdest place you’ve ever written a song:
Los Angeles

photo by: Danielle Holbert