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Casual Victim Pile II

SXSW 2011 Picks 2 Click

By Jim Caligiuri, Fri., March 11, 2011

Casual Victim Pile II
Photo by Todd V. Wolfson

Warren Hood

SXSW showcase: Wed., March 16, 10pm, Victorian Room at the Driskill

Although he's only 28, Warren Hood is in possession of a much older soul. Moreover, as son of late Austin stringsman Champ Hood, he's been playing out locally – professionally – for more than half his life.

One can find the fiddler/songwriter in local venues almost every night of the week, whether fronting his own band the Goods, participating in soul collective the Coverters with Suzanna Choffel and Dan Dyer at Momo's, or backing Toni Price during her eternal Hippie Hour on South Congress at the Continental Club.

Growing up locally to the musical soundtrack of his father, a virtuosic fiddler, guitarist, and mandolin player – Champ Hood of the unclassifiable, gone-but-never-forgotten Uncle Walt's Band – Warren Hood takes that influence and sprints with it.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm too all over the map," he admits. "I get real hard to categorize, which makes it difficult to try and get on the radio or try and get people to pay attention to you. They don't know what it is. One song is bluegrass, one is blues, another is Cajun. They don't know where to put you."

His teenage years were equally varied. He first appeared onstage with the Threadgill Troubadours, a band Champ led, and carries a photograph of the event in his fiddle case.

"I look like a deer in the headlights. My dad is grinning from ear to ear," he laughs.

Don't laugh: Warren was chosen as a soloist with the Austin Symphony at 17. "That was one of the biggest thrills of my musical life," nods Hood.

Presently, he's content making Hill Country music for urban Austin, fiddling like wildfire, and talking of recording a follow-up to his 2008 disc. He just hopes it catches on.

"I don't hear a lot of people influenced by modern sounds that I like," admits Hood. "I got really into American Idol, just for fun. What strikes me most is that there's some really talented people on there but they're singing like they're on Broadway or something. They're afraid to show any kind of emotion. Who gave that girl a Celine Dion record, and why didn't they give her an Etta James or Ray Charles record?"

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