Austin, Texas, is widely recognized as one of the most eclectic music centers in the country and a hotbed of artists whose music defies categorization.
And as fiddler/singer/songwriter Warren Hood found out when he left to attend the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Texas' weirdest city can be hard to escape.
"Maybe that's why so many Austin bands stay in Austin; they can't get on the radio because (DJs) don't know what to do with their music," Hood said, laughing. "In Austin, they can play everything, but ... you don't know what genre to put the players in."
Hood is the son of Champ Hood, a Texas Music Hall of Fame inductee. At age 11, the younger Hood followed in his father's footsteps, taking up the bow as a classically trained violinist. In high school, he began fiddling as a member of the South Austin Jug Band.
IF YOU GO
* What: Nightfall concert series, featuring Warren Hood and The Goods.
* When: 8 p.m. today, Third Lobby opens at 7.
* Where: Miller Plaza, corner of M.L. King Boulevard, Market and Cherry street.
* Admission: Free.
* Phone: 265-0771.
* Venue website: www.nightfallchattanooga.com
* Related links at fyi.timesfreepress.com
Warren Hood and The Goods are selecting material that will appear on their debut album. Hood said seven songs have made the must-record list thus far, and the band will choose 12 more out of a pool of about 30 before entering the studio in December or early January.
After graduating from Berklee, Hood returned to Austin and eventually became a highly sought-after session musician as well as joining the ranks of San Francisco-based bluegrass-fusion group The Waybacks.
Hood has made numerous trips to Chattanooga with The Waybacks, most recently in June to perform alongside the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera at Riverbend.
Tonight, he will introduce local fans to another of his many musical facets as this week's Nightfall headliner at the head of his own band, Warren Hood and The Goods (formerly The Hoodlums).
This five-piece outfit has an identity separate from The Waybacks. Like good Austinites, The Goods have made their sound a musical stew consisting of equal parts blues, Texas swing and jazz, and a smattering of Cajun.
Recently, The Goods began highlighting the vocal prowess of their pianist, Emily Gimble, the granddaughter of Lone Star legend and former Texas Playboys fiddler Johnny Gimble.
Gimble's pipes blew the band away, and audiences should brace themselves when she takes the mike, Hood said.
"If you've got that (talent) sitting right there, you've got to use it," he said, laughing. "People are going to be floored by her. She might be the best young vocalist in the country, and no one has heard of her."
Third Lobby is a local seven-piece pop-folk/rock ensemble. Last December, it won the Folk School of Chattanooga's inaugural busquing competition. The lineup consists of Steph Heaney, Elise Ziegenbein, Matt Brown, J. Tingle, Ben Hubbard, David Henry and Ellie Henry. For more info, visit their Facebook profile (www.facebook.com/thirdlobby).
Follow this link to Warren Hood's webpage: http://www.warrenhood.com