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Concert Review: Aaron Williams and The Hoodoo at North River Tavern, Atlanta, GA 11/2/12

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Aaron Williams and The Hoodoo are an exciting young blues-rock band out of Madison, Wisconsin, whose CD 10:49 was recently positively reviewed on Blogcritics by this reviewer. Shortly after, I was privileged to attend a free show by the group at North River Tavern in Sandy Springs, which is part of metro Atlanta.

There was a large and enthusiastic crowd present for the event, and the group started things off with high energy, which they maintained for the entire hour and a half that I witnessed. The group moved smoothly from one up-beat number to another, interspersed only by the personable Williams’ comments to the audience and verbal interplay between he and the two other members of the band, bassist “Z” and drummer Eric “Shack” Shackelford.

All three band members are top-notch musicians. At one point, Shackelford showcased his drumming by playing with his bare hands; at another he and Williams had a contest to see who could play the fastest without making a mistake, which ended in a draw. as both reached incredible speed with absolute accuracy. The group also left the stage before the break and snaked their way around the room with Z playing maracas, Williams on guitar and Shackelford drumming on tables and the bar.

But all this showmanship would not have been enough if the group had not been so musically proficient. Williams has a perfect voice for blues-rock as well as his amazing guitar skills. Z also performed several vocals with flair and style in addition to his proficient bass playing. Shackelford is a very skilled drummer, and together the three make a powerful noise for a three-person group. They also have a great degree of performing expertise, earned through about five years of hard touring and playing.

This group has already garnered a lot of critical acclaim for their two CDs and have developed a fanatic fan base in Madison and beyond. On Friday, they showed that they are even better live than on record. Expect to see and hear more about Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo, and if they are appearing anywhere near you, go and see them. You are guaranteed to have a great time!

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.