Written by Eddie Ferranti
ImageCould not help but think of the time old adage of “The fruit did not fall far from the tree” when witnessing a recent gig.

Warren Hood brought his band to Houston’s McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, where in the 90’s his dad, Champ Hood, had graced this very stage many times. Cannot tell you how many great shows I saw with him, especially during the Toni Price era where he was joined by Scrappy Jud Newcombe and Casper Rawls.

Warren began playing the fiddle at age eleven. He attended the Berklee School of Music, where he was awarded the school’s top honor-The String Achievement Award.

The band this night was a five piece and to say they were versatile is putting it mildly. Flanked by Emily Gimble on keys and Austin guitar ace Willie Pipkin, Hood just let the music flow like a good band leader should. Hood’s sincere drawl is unique and when he plowed into “Sign Your Name On The Wall” the show steam rolled the over packed house.

Gimble has family roots of distinction also with her grandfather being Grammy Award winner Johnny Gimble. The woman belted out the soulful blues effortlessly and brought images of Aretha Franklin, Susan Tedeschi and Norah Jones to mind with this reviewer. Pipkin resembles Mike Campbell of The Heartbreakers fame and slid in and out when called upon marvelously. The trade offs between him and Warren were jaw dropping jams that made me shake my head and say yikes.

But, the piston pumpin’ this engine was Hood pickin’ his violin and stroking it until it became an awesome blur of bad ass that seemed to catch on fire! Describing WHB’s sound falls over the place from jazz to blues to “newgrass” and acoustic tossed in for good measure.

ImageHood’s self-titled album was featured and some gems included “Can’t Remember”, “You Better Tread Lightly”, smokey jazzy Gimble on “Calling You Baby” and smokin’ stomper “You Let My Love Grow Cold”! Hood just kept his foot on the gas all night and barely gave the crowd a second to catch their collective breath.

“Sad As It Seems” was a fitting ending to a very powerful gig. Looking like his daddy-and a youthful Mick Jagger-Warren Hood might have finally settled into a unit that can push him over the top. This is by no means a flash-in-the-pan, one-trick-pony band.

I had the pleasure of chatting with WH after the gig and he has a humble style to burn so like his father before him. Definitely in heaven, Champ has to be beaming about his talented offspring he left behind for us to enjoy…Go see some live music will ya?!