It is always a treat to catch a set of Voodoo Visionary around town, but last Friday at Aisle 5 was an especially mesmerizing night. Not only was it their Sophomore Album Release Party of Off The Ground, but there was also a silent auction benefiting a friend in need whose house was burnt down following Jam Cruise. All night people bid on memorabilia of Dead, Phish, and WSP – there were signed posters, vinyl, cds, trinkets, and other gear by so many great musicians to raise money for a good cause. On a lighter note there were so many phenomenal artists packed into one GD room! Walking in you could breathe in the creativity that was vibrating off people into the air, off the walls, and back into our ears. It was truly magical seeing the diversity of the crowd with people from 18 to 92; everyone was there to get down with the funk and Voodoo Visionary put the oogie in boogie!
Three honorable mentions – Firstly to Irma Ali; she is the newest team member of Funkadelic Threads and saved the day by making the show last Friday! Click here to see her website. Secondly to my old friends in Opposite Box and my new friends in Little Raine Band – they warmed up the stage so it was red hot when Voodoo arrived. It’s always a good time at Aisle 5, the best venue for their size in ATL, but this night it went to max capacity – literally. Right before the Krewe took the stage it sold out and set some records for the venue. Crowd was ignited
These guys have figured out the flow of their album to seeing them change from touring musicians to outright professionals right before my eyes on stage these past few years. Its all coming together and lifting the band off the ground on their best tour to date. Presence is on point with sheer groove in their spirit and Scottie has risen to be a lively maestro, guiding the band and crowds flawlessly to the funk.
You can thank Breze Schmidt of BrezeArt for the painting below and Wren Breen for the logo. Both of these artists are rising up as well.
The lead track, “Cold Shallow Moon” , eases the listener into an Aura state Dennis presents on piano that picks up with Mikes guitar and Mac pops the tune into gear as the band breaks in. This builds up into a sticky situation that is melded together by thick bass grooves directed by Jimmy as Scottie ties the whole team together with soulful siren sounds. The song peaks with on point hits until a righteous modern Moog funk riff slices through the track to break into the jam. Personally this is my favorite song to hear live over this past year and it’s been interesting journey hearing the song progress into this beautiful ballad just as the Voodoo Krewe has too.
The title track is an homage to Jam Cruise and breaks out of traditional form with technical drop beats then busts into a new yet familiar funk family groove. Mac shows off his clean hi-hat work that is reminiscent of The Meters with added 64th notes tied in to percussion by Jose Pipo Rivera. Jimmy runs down the bass till he gets to a gut-wrenching groove that Dennis matches on the high end Hammond. Scottie is singing straight from the soul that is finally matched by Mikes screaming guitar solo that hits so hard in a short time.
After listening to “Saving Face” a few times through picked up on the lyrics “I need two… Can you lend a helping hand” then to the next line “Magnolia mama I need a miracle” which is a tip of the hat to Kylie, the founder of Magnolia Miracle. For those of you who have been living under a rock, Mag Miracle is a righteous non-profit that is based in the belief that everyone should see live music and never pay more than face value!
Check out the FB page here – stay posted for your opportunity to join to ticket group!
Moving on the 9th track. If Lettuce and The Doors had a blue soul funk baby it would be named “Roscoe” and this little hellion would be rebellious. You may meet him at the under belly of your fav fest to get hooked up or maybe have one too many whiskey shots with this destitute dude on an ordinary Tuesday night. Either way this is a gnarly track best served with a healthy serving of shady horns who are presented by Martin Anderson on sax, Ben Otieno on trumpet, and Paul Nelson on trombone.
The next track, “Hold Tight” reminds me of Sly n the Family Stone (shaft) meets Tower of Power with female vocals, by Venessa Graniero, beautifully woven in to seem like a cool mother covering you like a warm blanket. That is until 3/4 of the way in that blanket gets ripped up and that hot mama is pickin yo ass up to boogie!
Even the last song doesn’t drop off, unlike most albums of today the last few tracks were handled with care and perfectly placed to produce keen balance in the mix. The final song, “Toirtoise Told” brings down the tempo of the album to allow for a soft landing back to the ground with Scotties lyrical flow that differs from their norm like Anthony Kiedis rendition of “Yertle the Turtle” did back in the early 90s. 2017 will be the year that will put Voodoo Visionary on the map. Good Luck and Good Night!
released February 17, 2017
Dennis Dowd – keyboards, vocals
Jimmy Lynch – bass, vocals
Scott MacDonald – lead vocals
Mac Schmitz – drums, vocals, percussion
Mike Wilson – guitar
Jose Pipo Rivera – percussion
Martin Anderson – saxophone
Ben Otieno – trumpet
Paul Nelson – trombone
Vanessa Graniero – vocals
Austin Cobb – backing vocals
Christopher Micheal – backing vocals
Produced and Engineered by Mark Michaelson and Josh Thane at WonderDog Sounds Studio, Marietta GA. Assistant engineering by Adrian Barrie. Mastered by Rodney Mills Masterhouse.
Stay tuned for the interview release featuring Jimmy on bass soon!
Stay Funky my Friends,