Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

HooDoo's Blues Is No Chemical Imbalance

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

HooDoo's Blues Is No Chemical Imbalance

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Faulkner, Shorelines correspondent

If Worldwide HooDoo's on-stage chemistry is anything like guitarist Billy Bowers and bassist Son Powers' off-stage, the blues trio could be the next big thing to come out of Jacksonville.

When Powers and Bowers talk about this band and soon-to-be-released CD, their words and subtle, inside jokes reveal the strong bond between the two long-time friends. As an example, here's Powers talking about why he loves the trio format: "I play bass, so it's easier for me. I'm not going to play much different than I would in a bigger band. The hard work is on the guitar player, for sure. But Billy is holding up admirably. My hat's off to him."

Without missing a beat, Bowers replies, "I'm working on it."

Bowers has been working on it for years. He earned his reputation as one of the best guitarists in the local music scene through his work with the Roosters, the Woody Brothers and Mike Shackelford's band. He and Powers played years ago in another blues trio, Billy B. and the Razorblades. That was just one of Bowers' side projects. This is a little more serious.

With drummer Rob Piazza and the Raggedy Men CD due to hit the streets in the next couple of weeks, Worldwide HooDoo is ready to make some noise on the national scene. Powers said they will send the CD to blues radio stations and independent labels. They also hope to start playing more regional gigs. The band performs tomorrow at Ragtime Tavern.

Just a few years ago, Ragtime featured blues acts regularly for the full weekend rather than a one-night gig. Bowers remembers numerous places throughout Jacksonville to hear live blues music. Most are history.

Blues' place in the local music scene is likely to give any blues man the blues. Like local jazz musicians who enjoy a spike in interest after the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Bowers and Powers said they see more people at blues gigs following Jacksonville Beach's George's Music Springing the Blues event. …

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