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Musician Shares His Multi-Instrumental Talent to The Villages

Henry Hood plays solo at various restaurants and on the squares with Slickwood.

If Henry Hood had to choose one instrument that identifies him, it would be the banjo.

“It’s got a fire to it,” Hood said, “and you fall in love with those instruments.”

His abilities, however, are not limited to only one instrument. He also plays electric guitar, fiddle, slide guitar, harmonica and mandolin, among other instruments, “and everything you can get the soul out of,” he says.

For many years, he has demonstrated those abilities to audiences in The Villages squares. He’s been playing solo at Tierra Del Sol Bar & Grill, Fenney Grill and Lazy Mac’s Taco Shack recently.

Hood has been playing with the “jam grass” band Slickwood for six years, including three years on Villages squares.

Hood said, “Every time we come to The Villages, the crowd is incredible. People are laughing, dancing, and everybody is having a good time, whether it’s at Fenney or as I drive by… that’s the kind of crowd you want.”

Hood is not only a professional banjo player, but he often uses it to add a special and unique perspective to music that one would not expect, such as Pink Floyd’s hits.

Hood, on the other hand, claims to be a singer first. In his home state of Illinois, he grew up singing in a jazz choir and harmonizing in the car with his mother.

He also learned to play the tuba and bass guitar in the school band, thanks to his mother, who taught him how to play like James Taylor.

Hood worked in management, but on weekends, he enjoyed playing guitar and singing with bands. He moved to Florida six years ago to pursue a master’s degree in education. That, however, did not last long.

Hood jumped at the chance to perform solo on cruise ships, visiting Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Egypt and other countries.

“I have had the opportunity to play music along the way,” Hood said. “It was pretty top material.”

From guitar to banjo to harmonica, it was a natural progression for his singer-songwriter style.

Hood performs solo performances of country, blues and singer-songwriter songs from the 1960s to the 1990s, as well as Jimmy Buffett and The Beatles.

“There’s nothing I’d rather do in life than play music onstage when people are having a good time,” Hood said. “Whether you’re in the crowd or playing, music pulls you in.”

Attributed Source, The Villages Daily Sun