Champ Hood

SXSW Records

Champ Hood

Bon Haven (South Congress) When Champ Hood passed away in November 2001, he left an enormous hole in the Austin music scene. No one will ever replace the outstanding talent and personal charm he lent to Uncle Walt's Band, Toni Price, Lyle Lovett, the Threadgill Troubadours, and so many more as a guitarist and all-around sideman. Although unfinished at the time of his death, Bon Haven represents Hood's only solo album. While it may not be exactly as he envisioned it, Bon Haven still comes across as a tasty chunk of American roots music and a worthy final legacy. From the breezy cover of Walter Hyatt's "Going to New Orleans" that opens the set and the bluesy "Shoodee Lou" to the funky Louisiana two-step "Warming Trend," Hood leads a stellar band that includes guitarist Marvin Dykhuis, Marcia Ball on piano, and harp king Gary Primich. Toni Price lends her distinctive vocals to sad charmer "Sad as It Seems," and Champ's son Warren Hood, as impressive a young fiddle player as Austin has seen in a very long time, adds a vital spark throughout. No surprises here, just Hood making wonderful music and reminding us of just how special he really was. (Champ Hood Tribute at the Austin Music Awards, Wednesday, March 13, Austin Music Hall, 10:15pm)

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