A spell fell over Darwin’s in Marietta—a Hoodoo spell. Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo visited the metro Atlanta area, all the way from Madison, Wisconsin. The band is a blues/rock power trio fronted by guitar slinger Aaron Williams and includes Eric Shackelford on drums and Z on bass. Together, these three make a lot of noise, and that’s a good thing.
The band originally formed as a quartet but really began to take off as a trio in 2008. A bit of a “late bloomer,” Aaron began his musical career as the lead guitarist in the Cadillac Joe Blues Band, one of the top blues bands in the Midwest. During that time, Aaron perfected his trade and had the pleasure of jamming with some of the greats, including Shemekia Copeland, Coco Montoya, Carey Bell, Lil’ Ed, Anthony Gomes, Ana Popovic, Taj Mahal, Canned Heat, and Jimmy Thackery, who promptly dubbed Aaron “the brat with the strat.” The Isthmus’s choice for “Madison’s Favorites” for three years running, Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo is starting to gain attention across the nation. “It’s what we were meant to do. I have to get up every morning and play my music,” Aaron says. “We load our own gear, we drive hours on end for one show. But if you want it, you have to be willing to bleed it.” That blood includes playing 200 shows a year and traveling as far south as New Orleans, LA, where the band participated in this year’s Cutting Edge Music Business Conference and rapidly became the talk of the conference with their high energy show. Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo is bringing life and a new energy to the blues and has already secured endorsement deals with Republic Guitars, Fulltone, and Atlanta design house Riejunio Premium Apparel (http://www.riejunio.com).
The band’s show in Marietta was great fun. Starting out the evening with a cover of Cadillac Joe’s “Dues For The Blues” and following with a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison” (led by Z), the band went on to thrill the crowd with three and a half hours of pure dancing music, and it didn’t take long for the dancing to begin—by the second song, several people in the venue took to the floor. The band’s drummer, Eric Shackelford, incorporates several tricks into the band’s show, including playing objects in the room from table tops to abandoned beer bottles. Lead vocalist and front man Aaron Williams has a powerful stage presence, entertaining the crowd with a nice mix of covers and originals and delighted the crowd with his guitar rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” likely most made famous by Jimi Hendrix. In fact, Aaron covers several Hendrix songs and does a first-rate job with them; he is a talented guitar player and has been touted as one of the finest in the Midwest. Rounding out the trio is Z, who plays a mean bass. Z also does some dance moves while he’s playing and undertakes his share of bass solos. Usually relegated to the back of a band, Z is the rare bass player who competes with the front man for the audience’s attention.
Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo’s original music spans the rock, blues, and roots genres and incorporates a strong element of funk. The band’s full length debut is available at iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, the band’s website (http://www.aaronwilliamsandthehoodoo.com), and, of course, at their live shows. Striving to make their living playing music, Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo is playing in various areas of the country, has appeared on numerous morning shows, radio shows, and had a taste of national exposure last month with an appearance on WGN 9 in Chicago. The band is returning to Darwin’s on Saturday, March 13. Those who missed them the first time don’t make that mistake the second time. This band is sure to entertain just about any music lover and anyone who wants to have a good time. Visit the band at http://www.myspace.com/aaronwilliamsandthehoodoo or http://www.aaronwilliamsandthehoodoo.com to learn more, see the band’s calendar, and to sample the tunes.