Gonzo country singer-songwriter Greg Wood couldn't exactly be said to have been riding high, but he certainly was percolating along. His critically acclaimed band Horseshoe was gigging all over the city, their third album in the can. Justice Records agreed to nationally distribute King of the World, their second album, and it seemed for a time that the literate and hilarious barroom bard's fame just might radiate beyond Houston. That was when he collapsed. Doctors diagnosed a potentially fatal case of infectious heart disease. Wood spent a month in Ben Taub recovering from heart surgery, and then another recovering from a secondary infection that eventually destroyed his right eye. Wood's travails weren't over yet -- the powerful regimen of antibiotics destroyed his inner ear, and Wood had to spend another year relearning to walk. Meanwhile, Horseshoe disbanded, and Wood thought his musical career was over. Jesse Dayton's bass player, Charlie Sanders, had other plans. Sanders coaxed Wood from retirement and into the studio, and now Wood's Dayton-produced solo debut, Ash Wednesday, is in stores, and Wood is gigging again.