Singer-songwriter Riley Woodford doesn't try to compose your typical lyrics.
"The songs I write are about characters," he said. "Some of them are about real people and some of them are kind of composites of different people. They're, you know, a bit of a story about something or a snapshot of somebody's life or kind of a turning point or a telling moment in somebody's life. I think those have a little bit more resonance than just a song about falling in love or breaking up."
Woodford will perform a solo concert at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18, at the Canvas Community Art Studio that will feature original music from his CD, "Applehood and Mother Pie." Lief and Liz Saya will perform at 8 p.m. in the monthly winter concert series held on the third Thursday of each month at the downtown art studio.
A former Juneau Empire employee, Woodford will also be performing with the Bobb Family Band around 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19, and Saturday, Dec. 20, at the Alaskan Hotel & Bar. Albert McDonnell, Clay Good, Jason Caputo and Maridon Boario join him in the band.
Woodford's CD debuted a couple of years ago without a release party. He had envisioned playing the entire album with a full band but found it a daunting task to arrange rehearsals with multiple configurations.
"When this thing came up I thought, well this is a great chance. I can just do a bunch of music by myself," he said. "I can rehearse as much as I want and it doesn't involve other people."
The album was mostly built around songs Woodford has written, with a couple he didn't write thrown in for good measure. Woodford sings and plays guitar on the CD and is accompanied by a number of talented musicians from the community, he said.
"It just seemed like it would be kind of a waste to not work with other musicians and put out an album and not actually take advantage of the things you can do with other musicians in a recording studio," he said. "So I didn't want to just go up there and sit and bang them out like it was me by myself."
Woodford describes his music as Americana or contemporary acoustic. Since releasing the CD he has added another instrument to his repertoire.
"I'm playing a lot more harmonica now, so it's nice to have at least one other instrument in there to mix it up," he said.
He will be performing primarily on a six-string guitar and plans to play a 12-string for some songs.
"(I) fingerpick some, some are flat-picked, some are fast, some are more ballad, so it's a pretty good range of stuff, I think," he said. "For a solo set it will have variety."
Woodford said he hopes his songs will resonate with theaudience.
"My goal was to put out music that people wanted to hear and be entertaining," he said. "I'm obviously not a pop musician, but I wanted to do songs that were fun to listen to and that would be fun to listen to more than once. And that's kind of what I would hope for a live performance too."