Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo

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Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo
Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo.jpg
Background information
OriginMadison, WI
Occupation(s)Independent Band
MembersAaron Williams (guitar/lead and backing vocals)

Eric Shackelford (drums/backing vocals)

Z (bass/backing vocals)

Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo is an American blues/rock trio based in Madison, Wisconsin. Led by Aaron Williams (b. 1983 or 1984[1]) on guitar, the band’s sound is likely best described by “Ole Harv” of WVPE 88.1 (NPR) as “blues and roll for the masses.” Aaron is joined in the band by Eric Shackelford on drums and Z on bass. 365Ink says, “Compared to early George Thorogood, Williams & The Hoodoo have all the fire and swagger of the slide guitarist in his younger days, but with more finesse and way more versatility.” [2] Pulse magazine adds, “A little classic, dirty blues, a little Black Crowes on speed and a little rockabilly. Our Pulse Pick of the week!” [3]


Aaron began his musical career at 17 years old[when?] as the lead guitarist for the Cadillac Joe Band. As part of this group, Aaron opened for artists including Coco Montoya, Taj Mahal, Leon Russell, Canned Heat, Carey Bell, and Jimmy Thackery, who promptly dubbed Aaron “The Brat with the Strat” because of his affinity for Fender guitars. Eric Shackelford has played drums since the age of 11. Majoring in music and religion in college, Eric held the position of drum chair with the Iowa All-Star Jazz Band and shared the stage with jazz musician Ignacio Berroa. Eric has pushed himself to play all styles of music, including adding New Orleans funk to his style, making him a great addition to a blues rock power trio like Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo.[4] Z has been playing bass for 12 years. Immediately prior to joining the Hoodoo, Z studied and performed classical guitar. Z’s various disciplines allow him to add yet another element to the blues/rock sound of Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo.

The band’s first full-length CD “It Ain’t Easy” was named Blues/Rock Album of the Year by Real Blues magazine.[5] For the first time in the band’s short history, they were nominated for six Madison Area Music Awards and took home five, including the highly coveted Artist of the Year.[6] 2010 marked the first year that a panel of music experts cast the deciding vote and the first time Artist of the Year was awarded to a blues-based band. The band won Blues Artist of the Year in 2011. They were also twice-nominated for Blues Artist of the Year by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry.[7][8] Aaron was honored in 2011 by an appearance in Madison magazine [9] and the cover of Americana Gazette.[10]

The Band's 2011 release of "10:49" helped the band break into radio on a much larger scale. The CD currently spins on several radio stations across the country and internationally and has earned the band several impressive reviews. The band has appeared on various radio shows and television across the county and was recently honored by inclusion on the first-round ballot for the 2012 Grammys in the Best New Artist and Blues Album of the Year categories. In addition to Madison magazine, Americana Gazette, and Elmore magazine, the band has been featured in The Daily Times,[11] The Scene,[12] PJ Star,[13] The Isthmus,[14] and The South Bend Tribune.[15] As a group, Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo have supported Walter Trout, Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam; Zoso, the Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience; Jonny Lang; Los Lonely Boys; and Jonathan Tyler and Northern Lights.


Around the time that the Cadillac Joe Band began to wind down, Aaron had decided what he wanted to do with his life—play music. Hosting a blues jam at the now defunct Cuda Café in Madison, WI, Aaron began to seriously eye the players to find members to create his band. Aaron tells the story: “These two guys kept showing up, so I knew it was right.” Originally began as a four piece with a sax player, Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo settled easily into the blues/rock power trio known today for their pulsing grooves, Aaron’s thick-tongued baritone, and an innate ability to entertain audiences from all walks of life. Currently touring the Midwest region, parts of the South, and parts of the Northeast, Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo continue to make their name known on the indie music circuit.


  • It Ain't Easy (2009)
  • 10:49 (2011)


  1. AV Club, November 29, 2010
  2. 365Ink, May 2010
  3. Pulse Magazine, November 5, 2010
  4. Madison Music Foundry - Instructors
  5. Real Blues magazine, December 2009
  6. Thomas, Rob, Top MAMAs honor puts Williams on hot list, The Isthmus, May 18, 2010
  7. Rytlewski, Evan, Express Milwaukee.com, February 19, 2010
  8. Rytlewski, Evan, Express Milwaukee.com, March 7, 2011
  9. Madison magazine, April 2011
  10. Americana Gazette, February/March 2011
  11. Wildsmith, Steve, Williams and bandmates to trow a little Hoodoo spell on Big Daddy's crowd, The Daily Times, March 11, 2010
  12. Lundstrom, Jim, It's Time to Get Hoodooed," The Scene, June 2010
  13. Cue & A: It Ain't Easy Being Blue, PJ Star, September 2, 2010
  14. The Isthmus-various articles
  15. Fijol, Jeff, Road-burning licks drive Hoodoo blues band, South Bend Tribune, June 2, 2010

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