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Walk the Lineage

music_warren-hoodWarren Hood and band come from Texas royalty
There’s something about hearing Warren Hood’s Texas drawl that is gracious and inviting—as he speaks about his recent experience at Merlefest, you can almost imagine his spurs spinning with excitement. “I got to play with Elvis Costello and Little Feat,” relays Hood from his home in Austin. “It was not just business as usual.”

And business is brisk for Hood, a 26-year-old multi-instrumentalist whose version of Americana incorporates everything from blues, jazz, country, rock ’n’ roll to bluegrass. “I’m juggling my time between The Waybacks and The Hoodlums for the summer,” notes Hood as he gets ready to board a plane for The Waybacks rehearsal in New York. “I get off one tour and start another. I hibernate for the winter months; I pretty much don’t go on the road for six months of the year.”

There’s an old joke down in Texas that goes: “There’s more than 300 bands in Austin, but only 100 musicians.” The Hoodlums might be spending most of the year in the musical capital of their state, but that doesn’t mean it’s down time; bandleader Hood admits that each member plays in at least four or five other acts.

Hood’s own Austin calendar includes a country music who’s who of talent. “I play with Toni Price every Tuesday, and every Thursday with Caspar Rawls and David Grissom at the Continental Club,” he begins. “Every Sunday The Hoodlums play at Momo’s and then we take it to Dallas, Houston or San Antonio for the weekends.” He’s slightly out of breath reciting his weekly itinerary. “I also do session work and pick up random gigs with people like Bob Schneider and Danny Levin. I never stop when I’m home—sometimes I have to turn my phone off and go fishin’ just to take a breather.”

Classical violin was Hood’s early inspiration, and he was taught by the same maestro, Bill Dick, who also taught worldwide sensation Carrie Rodriguez. “He started with me when I was 13 and I was strictly classical until I sat in with my first country band and got a taste for improvising and swinging and having a little more fun at the bars,” he fondly remembers. “It was a natural evolution and I still use all those skills when I play fiddle. My Dad was a fiddle player so I was always around it.”

His late father, Champ Hood, is a Texas musical icon who toured with Lyle Lovett and whom Warren honors at his live shows. Most of the songs The Hoodlums play are originals—a mix of gypsy jazz, country and blues with Hood’s unparalleled violin/fiddle and mandolin complemented by his own distinctive voice. In concert, he warns, expect to be wowed by Hoodlums piano player, Emily Gimbles. “Emily’s grandfather played in Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys band,” Hood proudly states. “She comes from three generations of Texas musicians.”

This is The Hoodlums’ first trip together across state lines, and the frontman is excited about the upcoming road trip to California. “A band really grows on the road,” he says. “I see it all the time: A mediocre band leaves for a tour for a month playing consecutive nights—the days are passed driving and talking about the night before and trying to make the next one even better. And when they return they’re a whole hell of a lot better.”

You’re likely to see dreadlocked hippies dancing alongside cowboys doing the two-step when The Hoodlums take the stage at Don Quixote’s on Monday, May 24, and the young talent has a fine sonic blend to meet any varied crowd. “Your individual style is made up of everything you have heard,” he begins, “and you just gotta take what you like and leave what you don’t.”


Warren Hood and The Hoodlums perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 24, at Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 603-2294.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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