PLATTSBURGH — Though Aaron Louis Hurwitz lives in Woodstock, he performs there, maybe, twice a year.
As Professor Louie & The Cromatix, he gigs some 150 shows around the world annually. In January, he was inducted into The Blues Hall of Fame. In May, The Cromatix were inducted into The International Blues Hall of Fame.
Last year, Hurwitz (vocals, keys and accordion), Miss Marie (vocals, percussion and piano), Gary Burke (drums), Frank Campbell (bass and vocals) and Josh Colow (guitar) were inducted into the Southern Canadian Blues Hall of Fame. Their latest release, “Wings On Fire,” is dedicated to their musical mentors, Levon Helm and Rick Danko of The Band.
Hurwitz, a Peekskill native, originally formed the Woodstock quintet while working with The Band. At the time, he chose studio engineering over driving cabs or installing roofs in New York City. He owes the fateful hookup with the Rock and Roll Hall of famers to Artie Traum of Happy & Artie Traum, a ‘60s folk duo.
“They moved to Woodstock, always an arts community,” said Hurwitz, who performs at 7:30 pm. Friday, Sept. 7, during the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration. “They moved there in the middle ‘60s, before my time. They started to bring people up like Bob Dylan and Albert Grossman. I started engineering in the recording studio.”
The music scene was disco fevered. Hurwitz succumbed a little. He was hot because of his keys, techno and artistic savvy to meld the increasing use of synthesizers in music of the day. He learned how to engineer in recording studios and became very efficient.
“A lot of music engineers are great engineers when it comes to rock ‘n’ roll and folk; they weren’t as in tune with disco. At one stage of the game, Artie starts hiring engineers and took them to other studios. Every studio had their own engineer,” Hurwitz said.