Terry Woods may not be a household name, but he certainly has had an impressive presence in folk, rock, and folk-rock bands. From Sweeney's Men to Steeleye Span to The Pogues, Woods's songwriting, singing, and multi-intrumental skills have contributed to some highly enjoyable and infectious music.
Born in 1947 in Dublin, Woods started his musical life playing the banjo. In 1967 he joined Andy Irvine and Johnny Moynihan to form Sweeney's Men where he also played guitar and concertina and contributed the vocals for American folk songs like "Tom Dooley". Irvine left the band in 1968, and Woods and Moynihan made one more record as a duo. This album, The Tracks of Sweeney, mixed traditional Irish music with freer forms of jazz and blues. Woods's composition "Dreams for Me" is one of the real standouts on this record.
In 1979, Terry and his wife Gay met Ashley Hutchings of Fairport Convention fame, and they formed Steeleye Span. While this band put out a number of albums, Terry and Gay only appeared on the first, Hark! The Village Wait! Appearing as Terry and Gay Woods, the couple did well as a duo, performing in the same vein as Richard and Linda Thompson.
After the couple divorced in 1980, Terry left the music business for a while. But in 1985, he was contacted by a former sound engineer for Steeleye Span named Frank Murray. At this time, Murray was manager of The Pogues, and he asked Woods to join them. He first appeared on 1987's If I Should Fall From Grace With God.
Woods's most recent project marks a return to his traditional Irish roots with a band called The Woods Project. This band has yet to make a recording.
liner notes from Sweeney's Men/The Tracks of Sweeney