Review: Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo – It aint easy

Posted on: Sunday, Aug 16, 2009

AARON WILLIAMS AND THE HOODOO

“IT AIN’T EASY”

(self-release)

From Madison, Wisconsinin the Mid West of the USA, hails the exciting three-piece band, Aaron Williams And The Hoodoo – by no means a straight blues band, who, on this debut full length release, deliver a mix of rocking blues, touches of funk and more – led by the guitar and vocals of Aaron Williams, with the rhythm section of Z on bass and Eric Shackelford on drums – both also contributing vocals.

The 11 tracks on offer on “It Ain’t Easy” kick off with a brace of thunderous, funky rockers in “Hypnotize” and “Seven Days” – both showing how tight they are, but dominated by Williams  impressive guitar work – fine slide, rhythm work and soloing. The title cut rides on a greasy guitar riff that gives the song a funk edge, with breathy backing vocals, courtesy of Carolynn Black and Wes Johnson.

The pace is taken down on the country-flavoured ballad “Livin’ On Love”, with its acoustic intro gradually building – a tune I guess made for radio play, with its catchy hooks and harmony vocals. “Wrong Me” sees the band rock out again, more fine guitar from Aaron Williams and nice guest Hammond B-3 from Cadillac Joe Andersen.

However, the highlights of the album for me are a couple of thumping, George Thorogood inspired songs – “Drinking Blues”, which must be a killer live; and the marvellous “Hotel Or Motel”, which has a simply great groove and feel to it, and more beautifully toned guitar playing – and could almost have hailed from George’s late 70s heydays.

Elsewhere, “No Time For Love” delves into funk territory again, with the almost spoken ‘story’ of “Porterhouse 650” being another treat, with Williams fiery wah-wah guitar pushing the band along. The closing “Lil’ Old Lady” is a chunky rocker and a fitting end to a most enjoyable debut.

The band have absorbed some classic blues, soul and rock sounds to come up with a fresh, energetic release – and hopefully we will get to see them on our side of the ‘pond’ – and this comes highly recommended! All quite beautifully played and recorded, and by no means a traditional blues album, but well worth a listen!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.aaronwilliamsandthehoodoo.com

www.myspace.com/aaronwilliamsandthehoodoo

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