Fiddlin’ around

Fiddlin’ around
Fiddlin’ around
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I was told, “You’re really going to like this guy.” That turned out to be an understatement. Fiddle player Warren Hood and his trio capped off JAMinc’s 2014 season to a sold-out house last Thursday at RVA’s In Your Ear Studio. It was two hours of fiddle and vocals by Warren, joined on acoustic guitar by long-time collaborator Willie Pipkin and cousin Marshall Hood.


Still a resident of Austin, where he grew up, Warren’s been playing fiddle since he was 11 – inspired by his musician father Champ Hood. He went on to Berklee School of Music (top string honors), was recognized three times as String Player of the Year in the Austin Chronicle Music Poll and performs with Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, the BoDeans and the Waybacks.


For 7 years he had his own touring band, but personnel and management changes have derailed that for the time being. Currently, he and the rest of the trio do a lot of session and sideman work. He tries to block out weekends whenever he can to make the current band go. “My heart lies with my own band but…to make ends meet… you have to play with other people.” His music mixes genres and he moves between them pretty easily – a necessity when playing with a wide range of musicians and bands.



StudioWarren also sings, which is something not many fiddle players do. He was inspired to do it more by Tim O’Brien. Being a fiddle player, Warren feels he has to bring more to his act, “It’s challenging to front the band with a fiddle and look cool.” But cool he is.


The JAMinc shows are very much a house party. Everybody brings a dish to share and their own libations. The performance (which is recorded) happens in Studio A, which seats about 80 people. It’s an intimate experience that promotes interaction between the performers and the crowd. Although over for this year, you can hear past performances on public radio WCVE every Saturday at 1 p.m. Their next show will be the Malpass Brothers in January.




Update: the River City Blues Society announced that their recently suspended Blues and Brews series (see Sifter article) will resume January 9 at the Camel with Mo Debree. These shows will happen every-other Friday.


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