Having just reviewed Aaron Williams and The Hoodoo’s second CD, 10:49, we were excited to see them last night at North River Tavern.
My first impression as we watched them set up on stage was that they look younger even than their pictures. It’s amazing to think that such young guys can play with such fire and expertise, but they do, believe me.
My second impression, when I approached Aaron to get the photo that accompanies this article, was how extremely friendly he is. Do I look happy in that photo, or what?
Once they started to play, my next impression was of constant motion and incredible musical skill. For this set, they concentrated on rocking the place. It was nonstop action from one song to the other, only interrupted by verbal interplay between the guys and between Aaron and the audience. Williams and bassist “Z” played off each other wonderfully and Eric “Chickenshack” Shackelford kept the beat hard and heavy. The sizeable crowd was appreciative and the beat just went on and on.
Right before the first set ended and we had to leave (after an hour and a half of great music,) three excellent bits of showmanship occurred.
First, Shackelford displayed his expert drumming, including playing with his hands without drumsticks. Then, all three band members left the stage, with Z shaking morroccos, Aaron playing drums and Eric banging on tables and counter tops as they wended their way through the audience and back to the stage. After that, Aaron and Eric had a contest to see who could play the fasted without messing up. As far as I could tell, it was a draw with both of them reaching astounding speeds with total accuracy.
It was 11:30 when the stopped for a break, promising cigar box slide when they returned. Aaron’s slide playing really impressed me on the CD, so I wanted to stay but slave to my insulin as I am we had to return to Marietta before midnight in order to insure I did not turn into some sort of diabetic pumpkin. It was one of those times I regretted my reluctance to give myself my shot in a public restroom like some junkie. But I guarantee you I will catch the cigar box slide next time around. Though they hail from Madison, Wisconsin, the group’s manager, Shirley Kennedy, lives in the Atlanta area and they play here fairly often.
Next time they are in your area, be sure you see Aaron Williams and The Hoodoo. You will be glad you did. In the meantime, pick up 10:49. It will give you at least a taste of what you’ll get at the live shows!