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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Last Night: Patterson Hood and the Screwtopians at The Independent

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 10:46 AM

  • Joseph Schell

Patterson Hood and the Screwtopians
July 8, 2009
The Independent
Better Than:
A shot of Makers and plate of hushpuppies.

The whiskey-flavored air at The Independent turned a little bit country last night thanks to the sweet southern twang of Patterson Hood and the Screwtopians. Grins and bobbing heads were ubiquitous among members of a packed audience--comprised mostly of devoted Hood fans who swooned at the mention of his better-known band, the Drive-By Truckers.

The crowd's happy attitude was in part due to Hood's contagious smiles and charismatic stage presence. Whether he was hunched over a guitar solo, recounting a story from the past, or hugging the mic close for a slower tune, the audience (for the most part -- see Critic's Notebook) followed his lead and leaned-in quietly or rocked-out as necessary.

  • Joseph Schell
Hood's Screwtopians -- a smattering of talent including Will Johnson and Scott Danborn from Centro-matic -- played guitar, keyboards, a sparse set of tom-less drums, petal steel, and a little fiddle thrown in at times. Their new album, Murdering Oscar (and Other Love Songs), is Hood's second solo-album to date. He described the music as love songs to his hometown of Athens, Georgia, and told the audience that it comprised revived songs from an old cassette tape he made during one of the best years of his life (which included a "crap job," long evenings of playing guitar on a couch with friends, and a whole lotta partying).

Patterson Hood and the Screwtopians woo the crowd. - JOSEPH SCHELL
  • Joseph Schell
  • Patterson Hood and the Screwtopians woo the crowd.
Although Hood played some old favorites from the Truckers, he stuck mostly to new songs from the Screwtopians release. Lookout for more good live shows from Hood this October, when he'll take the stage with Booker T. Jones as Booker T. and the DBT's at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival.

The Stone Foxes. - JOSEPH SCHELL
  • Joseph Schell
  • The Stone Foxes.
Hood's openers, San Francisco's own Stone Foxes, did the city proud last night. Their energy took the crowd from zero to fifty in less than an hour. The band's charismatic drummer, whose shirt was soaked through with sweat by the end of the set, doubles as their front man. He took to the mic for banter between songs and even stepped out from behind the drum set to wail on the harmonica and take lead vocals in what may have been one of the best opening band encores ever. But all of the band members took to the mic during the set, proving that they've each got a nice set of pipes and have played enough together to make their sound tight, allowing them to have some fun up on stage.

Critic's Notebook:
Thank you Patterson Hood for finally telling the token drunk and loud girl in the crowd to, "kiss someone, darlin." Sweetest shushing ever.

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