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Playing this summer: Hudson & the Hoodoo Cats

John Logan, Hudson Harkins and Mike Graham make up Hudson and the Hoo Doo Cats.
Provided by the band

HUDSON HARKINS of Hudson & the Hoodoo Cats

HOME: Born and raised in Austin, Texas. Lived there 39 years until moving to STL in November 1995. We also spend about six weeks a year based out of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.

AGE: The band is 20 years old this year. John Logan has been with me for 16 years and Mike Graham for 11 years.

INSTRUMENT: Singer, drummer, songwriter. I'm also the guy that gets under the van on the side of the highway when it breaks down.

HOBBIES: Sophomore rehabber, photography, ornamental gardening, puttering, bicycling ... my wife yells from the other room "don't forget drinkin' and chasin' women."

LAST CONCERT: Soulard Blues Band in Carondelet Park (I love those guys).

LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Very soon to release First 20 Years C.D. Double set of originals that we have been recording, rerecording and messing with for about 17 years.

WHY I DO WHAT I DO: Well, I'm not really a punch-the-clock kinda guy. I get a kick outta being in charge of a situation where people are enjoying themselves.

QUOTE: I guess among all the silliness, I do have a little something to say, too. My father died suddenly when I was 11 years old. In his wallet was a folded piece of paper with this quote written in his handwriting. It has really affected me. I don't know if he wrote it but he signed it, like an affirmation. I still have it:

A Contribution of Words for Men

Every individual has something (be it large or small, tangible or intangible) of eternal value to contribute to the betterment of Time (or Life, or Humanity). May God grant you and me the privileges to discover and the courage to present our worthy and lasting contributions before we die. Howard B. Harkins

PROFILE: Hudson Harkins and his band, the Hoodoo Cats have been dishing out a distinctive blend of western swing, rockabilly, jump blues and just plain fun dance music in the St. Louis area for the past 15 years. The band actually was formed in 1989 in Austin, Texas, before making the move here - and becoming one of the most popular bands on the dance circuit. Over the years, the trio has opened for Chuck Berry and the Brian Setzer Orchestra, and has played just about every venue in town as well. The band has five CDs to its credit, and two compilations, "Two Cars" as well as "And Friends 2," collect the best material from those recordings. Order on the band's website or pick 'em up at the concerts listed below.

HEAR THEM LIVE: Hudson & the Hoodoo Cats play Sunday, Aug. 15 from 6-8 p.m. at Gentry Park in Bridgeton.

On Wednesday, Aug. 18, the band will be featured from 5-8 p.m. at the "Parties in the Plaza" Concert Series on the north side of the Old Post Office (801 Locust Ave.). Both concerts are free.

Check out www.hudsonandthehoodoocats.com for the band's complete schedule.

To see the Beacon's list of free summer concerts throughout the area, click here .

For previous profiles: Jim Stevens , Javier Mendoza , Fanfare , Anita Rosmond

Terry Perkins is a freelance writer who has long covered the music scene in St. Louis. This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

Terry Perkins is a freelance writer based in St. Louis. He has written for the St. Louis Beacon since 2009. Terry's other writing credits in St. Louis include: the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis American, the Riverfront Times, and St. Louis magazine. Nationally, Terry writes for DownBeat magazine, OxfordAmerican.org and RollingStone.com, among others.