The Mascot Theory and Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo
Warm a Home, Warm Your Heart - benefitting the Keep WI Warm/Cool Fund
Saturday, Feb 18th at 7p
The Vine - MadPower Training Center in Fitchburg, WI
Can't make it? Make a donation now to the Keep WI Warm/Cool Fund here.
About the Keep WI Warm/Cool Fund
Your donation to the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund helps Veterans, elderly, and disabled neighbors, as well as working families with young children in your community stay safely in their homes. In partnership with the State of Wisconsin, Division of Energy, Housing & Community Resources, your donation will be matched 2 to 1, and is 100% tax-deductible.
The Mascot Theory
The Mascot Theory sound has roots in the Americana genre, but the new album heavily leans into its classic rock-inspired influences; harmonies that bring to mind the Eagles or America, a bit of that Rolling Stones guitar swagger, a little ZZ Top blues rock, a dash of the Pink Floyd mood, but never straying far from the core of the Tom Petty/Beatles/Poco-esque importance of solid melody and lyrics. And with just a tiny hint of Neil Diamond in the lead vocal for good measure.
The Mascot Theory has been kicking around Wisconsin weekend-warrior style for the past decade, but like many musicians, the great pandemic-induced entertainment halt of 2020 forced the band to reflect and refocus musical efforts. With the core foundation of singer/songwriter Erik Kjelland and the rhythm section of Nick Fry on bass guitar and Paul Metz on drums, The Mascot Theory used this time off to slightly shift their sound away from their acoustic-driven folk-rock music and into a more classic rock inspired Rock and Roll groove, especially thanks to the addition of lead guitarist Cory who brings a strong musical swagger and reverence to the guitar gods of the past. In 2021 the band made a major leap towards a more national focus when they were discovered and signed by manager Chuck Toler of TolerVision LLC, who helped steer the careers of artists like Cheap Trick and Mudvayne. Toler circulated the band’s music around to trusted colleagues in the business and this led to producer Terry Manning (Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, Shakira, Lenny Kravitz, Stax Record) taking an interest in the band and agreeing to produce their first nationally-focused album “Every Sign Of Life”. In April 2022 Manning and the band assembled at Sonic Ranch Studios near El Paso, TX and recorded 13 new songs as well as 2 updated versions of classic live show staple songs.
Along with a 2017 WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) win for Best Male Vocalist (Erik Kjelland) and a nomination for Best Americana/folk artist, The Mascot Theory has won over 20 MAMA (Madison Area Music Association) awards including back to back 2016 and 2017 Artist of the Year awards. They have played major festivals throughout Wisconsin including Summerfest, Freak Fest, and Mile of Music Festival, and have shared the stage with BoDeans, America, Don McLean, Vance Joy, Frank Turner, Chase Rice, Kaleo, The Wild Feathers, Guster, Blitzen Trapper, Cory Chisel, Andy Frasco and the UN, Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts, American Aquarium, and Lillie Mae.
Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo
Formed as a trio in May of 2008, Aaron Williams (Vocals, Guitar), Eric Shackelford (Drums, Vocals) and Z (Bass, Vocals) have the blues deeply rooted in the music they love to play. The trio all met while Aaron was hosting a blues jam at the now defunct club, The Cuda Café. Not to long after this fateful night the band was playing all over their hometown of Madison, WI.
As word continued to spread beyond their hometown the trio began to tour all over the Midwest playing sold out shows in North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. As the band continues to grow musically they’ve fused blues, roots and rock music into and original sound that a growing fan base is recognizing and following.
This stripped down trio has been catching a buzz across the Midwest and South with their constant touring and exciting live shows. With a second round Grammy nominations in 2011 for “Blues Album of the Year” and “Best New Artist” they’ve been skyrocketing towards a nationwide breakout. Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo have been featured on several national broadcasts including CNN and WGN. They also had the distinct pleasure of being named a WAMI Blues Artist of the Year. A Madison Favorite as voted on by Isthmus Newspaper readers and taking home 6 MAMA awards including the coveted Artist of the Year has been a testament to the bands success in a very short period of time. They have had the pleasure to play at some of the Midwest largest festivals including, Summerfest, BAM Fest and Forward Music Fest. They’ve shared the stage with such notable artist as the Los Lonely Boys, Jonny Lang and Buddy Guy. Their debut release, “It Ain’t Easy,” won Blues/Rock Album of the Year 2010- Real Blues Magazine, 10:49 their second studio album was Grammy nominated and the brand new Live album, Live Loud Harmony has been critically claimed as “one of the best Live albums of 2013.” The band looks to move forward and bring their sound to more and more fans looking for real original American music.
Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo’s music is unwavering, filtering blues, soul, roots, and rock through a prism of emotional authenticity. What emerges isn’t a reinvention of the wheel, rather something undeniable, and the very definition of a force of nature. It’s real American music at its core and at its best.