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Arts & Life

KCUR's Band Of The Week: Hadacol

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Courtesy Fred Wickham
Members of the late-'90s band Hadacol will look a few years older when they reunite to celebrate singer-guitarist Fred Wickham's solo record.

Named for an elixir advertised on Hank Williams’ radio broadcasts, Hadacol was once among Kansas City’s most notable bands, attracting national attention in the late 1990s. 

This week, brothers Fred and Greg Wickham (vocals and guitars) and bassist Richard Burgess reunite, with Matt Brahl on drums (the band's original drummer was Scott McCuiston) to celebrate the release of Fred Wickham’s new album "Mariosa Delta."

In a 1999 profile in the alt-country magazine No Depression, David Cantwell suggested that Hadacol follows “in the footsteps of KC cult favorites such as the Rainmakers and the Starkweathers” as it “pulls far and wide from rock 'n' roll's tradition of twangy roots.”

The title track of an out-of-print 1998 album released by the Chicago label Checkered Past, the Fred Wickham composition “Better Than This” is a clear-eyed celebration of a modest Midwestern life that includes “a satellite dish on your double-wide and two cats in the yard.”

Like "Better Than This," Fred Wickham’s new "Mariosa Delta" was produced by Lou Whitney, the revered Springfield musician and producer who died in 2014.

Hadacol Reunion, with Mayor Sly James, the Country Duo, the Fred Wickham Band, Clinton Thompson and Broken Arrows, 7 p.m., Friday, September 29, at Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester, Kansas City, Missouri, 64120; 816-483-1456.

KCUR contributor Bill Brownlee blogs about Kansas City's jazz scene at Plastic Sax.

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