Vortex Of Discovery
(Spin Acre)


Even though I come from New York—specifically New York City with it’s huge immigrant history and populations—I’ve never failed to be amazed at the vastness and rich cultural diversity of America with it’s 50 states, each with something unique and fascinating to behold. Musically speaking, some of the best American guitarists are to be found in it’s heartland. Guitarist Bryon Thompson hails from Indiana and likewise, guitarist Patrick Woods hails from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Woods made a lot of guitar fans quite happy with his earlier CD releases—Guitar Expeditions (2007) and Power Fields (2004). The 2009 CD from Woods, Vortex Of Discovery solidifies his reputation as one of the brightest up and coming instrumental finger style acoustic guitarists in America. Patrick cites legends such as the late Michael Hedges and Preston Reed as prime influences on his unique blend of percussive, string snapping acoustic guitar playing that combines guitar technique with intricate percussion and melodic action. His ‘one man band’ sound has sometimes been compared to a mix of Andres Segovia meeting Black Sabbath and while that comparison may be a little extreme, Patrick’s acoustic guitar sound is clearly influenced by guitar masters of the past as well his love of rock music, which can be detected in his rhythmic, percussive guitar approach. Back in the 1980’s the Windham Hill label made acoustic guitarists such as Michael Hedges, Alex DeGrassi and of course Windham Hill founder Will Ackerman into well known names. Fans of those guitar giants as well as modern acoustic guitar heroes such as Pete Huttlinger, Tommy Emmanuel, Toulouse Engelhardt, Richard Gilewitz, all the way back to early rock/acoustic guitar pioneer Steve Howe (of Yes), should give Patrick Woods a chance to impress them with his own unique and incredible guitar technique and approach. A great example of Patrick’s acoustic guitar technique merging with his love of rock music can be heard on track seven, “Lightning’s Kiss,” with its storming, melodic intro as well as track eight “The Golden Country” with it’s Steve Howe-inspired wide screen guitar moods. The ten track, all instrumental Vortex Of Discovery was tastefully produced by Jay Bentoff. The CD has a crisp and clear studio sound, capturing all of Patrick’s intricate percussive guitar slaps and snaps and melodic twists and turns and makes for a very cool way for guitar fans to spend an hour. Vortex Of Discovery is a solid spin and before you know it, you’ll be reaching for that replay button again!

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Musical Background

I picked up a guitar for the first time about the age of eight. My dad had always played, so I kind of got the knack from him, but I believed it was something that was in my blood from day one. I got influenced by rock and folk at an early age, and just sort of translated that over to what I'm doing now. In high school I took jazz and classical lessons, in addition to playing percussion in the marching band.

New CD

The name of the new album is called Vortex of Discovery. I called it that because I simplified things by really opening my playing up, and let everything just hang loose. I felt like I was discovering the guitar all over again in a sense, and even though there was a period of five years between this album and my debut, most of the songs were written and recorded in just a few months. In fact, there were a couple that were written just two weeks before I recorded them, so it really was a fresh approach. I recorded and mastered the album in Cleveland, with my engineer Jay Bentoff. He set me up with a couple of Rodes condenser mics, using Cubase and that was it. No other musicians or anything. The entire disc is all me with no overdubs. I did about two to four takes of each song, and on most of them we just spliced together to create the perfect take. There are one or two tracks that I got all in one shot, and I love it when that happens, but most of them are combinations of different takes. Jay knows my style really well, so he knows how to edit my music almost to a tee. It was really amazing watching him do it like it was nothing.

Favorite Guitars

I have been using a Wechter acoustic Pathmaker (double cutaway) for about the past ten years now. Abe Wechter is based out of Sweetwater Sound in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, about a half hour from where I live. I first bought one of his guitars through Elderly instruments in Michigan, and just fell in love with the thing. I have not wanted another guitar since. It's about 22 frets to the neck, has a spruce top, and mahogany back and sides. I also use Sperzle tuning keys, and just recently installed the b-band pickup system which sounds crazy good! For effects, I simply use a TC Electronics chorus/flange along with an Alesis Nanoverb. I am currently using Mackie 450’s for my live sound.

Musical Influences

The first finger style player to really open me up to the world of acoustic music, was the late great Michael Hedges. To acoustic players around the world- he needs no introduction. A friend of mine let me borrow Arial Boundaries when I was a senior in high school. I was blown away, but I still was a rock player at that point. I just heard it and thought, I could never do that. But then I heard another great acoustic virtuoso - Preston Reed. He was actually making his music sound like drumming in a rock band - all on one guitar! That really appealed to me, because I was a rock player. He sort of filled the gap, where Hedges couldn't, because although I loved Hedges, I couldn't quite grasp what he was doing enough to try it myself. But for some reason when I heard Preston Reed play, it was like a light went on. I just went, cool, I've got to do something with that. Those guys are my two main influences for acoustic but I have major rock influences too. Joe Satriani is my all time favorite. The first time I heard Surfing With The Alien it transported me to another planet. Ever since then I have made melody the number one thing I strive for in my music. Alex Lifeson of Rush is probably my second all time favorite for rock. There is simply no one that sounds like him, and he creates textures and creates places in my mind whenever I listen to Rush.

Upcoming Plans

Right now I have booked some gigs and will be getting back on the road. But I am also writing new material already, so I would say the next project will be out within another year or two.

Web Site

My website is simply and my myspace is I'm also on facebook


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