Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo


I once saw Jim Morrison of the Doors performing at some long-forgotten rock fest in San Jose. That day rushed back into my memory as I heard Aaron Williams singing on “My Turn,” a track from this, his self-released second album. To my ear, Williams sounds a lot like the late-lamented Lizard King on that cut. But there’s more to recommend this album than that casual similarity. These guys—Williams on guitar, Z on bass and vocals and Eric Shackelford on drums and vocals—can lay down sparkling sheets of sound. The slide guitar work is dazzling on cuts like “Red Head Women.” They kick off the opening number, “Boom Boom” (not to be confused with the John Lee Hooker tune), with a distinctive drum intro, and then they just whomp and stomp their way through the song. Elmore James haunts these grooves, as do lots of other blues and rock spirits, all of whom would recognize the kindred living spirit. These guys have got the goods, enough shared hoodoo between ’em to awaken the spirits of the musicians who were laying the template for these sounds long before they were born. These guys are standout players, and their playing on this album is as tight as a new pair of shoes. Jim Morrison, your fire is lit.