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Laith Al-Saadi, Aaron Williams & The Hoodoo

  • Majestic 115 King Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Laith Al-Saadi is the kind of performer who proves refreshing on a contest show like The Voice. The big, bearded Michigander's run on the show's 2016 season showcased his amiable interpretations of blues and folk chestnuts, which thrived on deep, gruff vocals and conversational, unhurried guitar leads. Al-Saadi knows his way around a show-stopping growl but also knows how to get his point across without overplaying things, as he showed on his rendition of "Born Under A Bad Sign." Sure, there are a few folks who put a slightly more distinctive imprint on this realm of music—it's hard to match the wooly charisma of Duluth's Charlie Parr, for instance—but there's a lot to be said for approaching it with finesse and charm. Hopefully this show will be a chance for people who enjoyed Al-Saadi's Voice run to see how his strengths translate to his original material. —Scott Gordon