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Perpetually busy

David Harper
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News

When you meet Alaska musician Jared Woods, odds are he will be exhausted from his unfathomable busy schedule.

When we talked recently, he had just survived a week-long stretch with nine gigs on top of his day job repairing guitars at Fleck Guitar.

Somehow he still found time to drop a new release last month, the exceptional "175 Terrace Street."

"It comes down to me absolutely loving music," Woods said. "It's not a part-time thing for me. I can't put it on a shelf, it will wake me up."

At just 3 years old, Woods was strumming a plastic guitar and singing along to The Beatles' "Help" with a toilet plunger for a microphone stand. In 2000 he released his first solo album, "Carnival Ride"

He produced "175 Terrace Street" during a two-month stay in the Bronx's City Island.

"I thought, 'You know, I'll just take one guitar, my laptop and my microphone and just make the record.' I liked that I had complete control over it," Woods said.

While it is without a doubt a stripped down record, it is a powerful one written by a songwriter at the peak of his powers. It recalls musicians like Ryan Adams and similar artists who blend singer-songwriter craftsmanship with a real sense of Americana.

It was his first attempt at recording himself since a four-track cassette tape session in the mid-90s, Woods said, noting that his previous attempt, "sounded like crap."

Produced with the aid of Alaskan Erik Braund, Wood's recent release has crisp-sounding guitar tracks blended perfectly with his soft and soulful vocals. It's a quiet record that packs a lot of strength.

Oddly enough, "175 Terrace Street" only happened because the delay of another release.

Braund was attending the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at New York University when he invited Woods to New York City so they could craft a rock record together.

The yet-to-be-released record is destined to be a Woods solo album, but features Braund on drums (Woods compares his sound to Led Zeppelin's John Bonham), Jared's brother Christian Woods on bass, as well as studio players on keys and bass.

All of the tracks will be new, save "Pinky Swear," which also appears on "175 Terrace Street." Woods insists the track is "way different," on each album.

He hopes to release the as-yet-unnamed album on Braund's label, Braund Media, near the end of the summer.

Mastered by Alan Silverman (who has worked on records by Norah Jones and Rufus Wainwright, among others), the album will likely be yet another stunning release in 2010 for the perpetually busy Woods.

"One thing that has kept me going," Woods said, "is that I've always had a million projects going."

With a strong schedule of solo shows, gigs with his band Woodrow (they recently opened for national act 311 at the Moose's Tooth) and more secretive projects burgeoning, things won't likely slow down for Woods any time soon.

Such is the life of Alaska's hardest working musician, one who loves what he does whether it's laying down tracks for an album or performing in front of a crowd of people who have never heard of him before.

After all, those are just people who don't yet realize what they've been missing.

Jared Woods Performs with his band Woodrow

When: Saturday, 10 p.m.

Where: The Blue Fox

Cost: free

More info: myspace.com/jaredwoodsak


By David Harper
Daily News correspondent