Southern Rock Opera

SXSW 02 Music Fest Wrap-up

Hadacol

Opal Divine's, Saturday 16 Comes a time when you get sick and tired of irony and all its forms. No-thank-you to bands that are too smart-alecky about what they're doing, as if to constantly say, "Oh my, aren't we the clever ones?" Enough already with overweening earnestness, too. Kansas City, Mo.'s Hadacol -- named after Hank Williams' favorite elixir -- instead put out some honest, unpretentious rock that's distinctly on the twangy side. The Slewfoot Records showcase had a tall order, with Bloodshot's extravaganza going on directly across the street, but Hadacol kicked things off with the Sir Doug-ish lope of "Gerald Ford" and never let up. They're a good, honest, Midwestern band with a total lack of pretense or affectation, no cute little cover songs or witty bon mots for the audience. They can pull off the rural-route chug of "Little Sadie," then turn around and slow things down for the weary shrug of "Already Broken." Songs like "Down Again" and "What I'm Doin' Wrong" tell stories of people who have seen trouble and may be down, but are a damn far way from out. Guitarist Fred Wickham plays stolid Telecaster runs without ever sounding showoffy, brother Greg mostly supplies the rhythm guitar, and together the two pull off the sort of tight harmonies that speak of two brothers who have had a lifetime worth of practice doing just that. This is what Americana should all be about: direct, with country influences that are readily apparent without being slavish or self-conscious. If you had to come up with a catch-all phrase for Hadacol, you could call them "post-ironic," but it would probably be better if you didn't.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Jerry Renshaw
SXSW Live Shots
Export Sweden Showcase

March 19, 2004

SXSW Live Shots
Amsterdam Calling

March 19, 2004

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Hadacol

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle