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the contenders
Champ Hood

individual bios:
| Jimbeau | Steve | Tommy | Walter

Born and raised in Spartanburg, SC, Carroll DesChamps Hood was playing guitar in the local rock band Washington Subway by his teen years. He was also playing and singing with Walter Hyatt in various acoustic settings but things really clicked when the two met David Ball and formed Uncle Walt’s Band. Champ’s singing voice had a range of almost three octaves while his ability to double on guitar and fiddle added much to the Contenders’ versatility.

His original songs were nearly always happy and often written to an island or beach beat- think of palm trees and guitars but without Jimmy Buffett. After the final demise of UWB, Champ settled in to become a mainstay sideman and session player in the lively music scene of Austin, Texas, later being inducted as a member of the Texas Music Hall of Fame. His main visibility in later years was that of leader of The Troubadours’ Wednesday night sessions at Threadgill’s Restaurant and as accompanist for vocal powerhouse Toni Price.

Around Easter of 2001, Champ learned he had cancer and finally succumbed in November of that year, having played his weekly gig as long as he was able. At the time of his passing Champ was in the process of recording his first CD. Though it was left incomplete, many of his friends joined together to apply the finishing touches and the result is Bon Haven, available on South Congress Records of Austin. 

Champ’s son Warren took up the fiddle at age 11, studying classical while also being a member of the South Austin Jug Band during his teens. After high school, he attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston and graduated with distinction in his major, Violin Performance. Returning to Austin, he worked with many artists and now is a member of The Waybacks and fronts his own Warren Hood Band. Summer of 2023 found him touring as a member of Lyle Lovett’s Large Band.

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