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The Blue Voodoo Band   Review - Outside Looking In

The overall effect of the Blue Voodoo Band’s latest release, OUTSIDE LOOKING IN, is that this is a band you want to experience… first hand!  This is the fourth album in the band’s ten year history of growing and settling comfortably into their own musical shoes.  Having played extensively, and matured into a tight group,  Ted Tosoff, (guitar, vocals), Rick Dalgarno (guitar, vocals), Gerry Berg (bass), and Mike Michalkow (drums), with added flavourings from Paul Wainwright, Dan Ross,  Dave Hoerl, Brian Esplen, and Kelly Stoldola, Blue Voodoo has now come full circle from the beginning moving through the various forms of  blues, Roots/Americana/Delta/Chicago/Country/Texas styles to come out with songs that satisfy and crossover. They more than meet you where it counts.  

From the fast-paced, flying down the highway at breakneck speed, “18 WHEELER BLUES”,  the gritty vocals of Dalgarno on the catchy, “ WORKING MAN BLUES”,  the sultry, slow-shuffle of “BAD SIDE OF THE MOON”, to the hooks that keep on delivering with Dylansque style in “CHUGGING ALONG”, presented here with tongue firmly planted in cheek. You want to two-step to this one.  The moodiness of guitar and harp, from local legend, Dave Hoerl, of The Twister’s fame, on “BREAKING THE MOLD” adds textures that are highly enjoyable.  The fine picking on “ROCK THOSE BLUES AWAY” cannot help but lift even the foulest of dispositions and have you kicking up your heels for the pure joy of it.  The anthem, or least it should be one, in “THE BLUES WONT LET ME BE” tells of ‘every man’ who ever fell in love with the sweet siren’s song of the Blues.  Paul Wainwright, on horns, and Dan Ross, on organ contribute nicely.  The title track, “OUTSIDE LOOKING IN”, pleads, “I’ve screwed up again and you’ve locked me out of your love.”  Great touches with horns here by Paul Wainwright, and Ted Tosoff‘s complementing organ and guitar drive the point home.  Ted Tosoff’s vocals on the highly emotional “BLAME”,   shows interesting production notes.   It catches you by the throat and doesn’t let you go until the final fade-out.  Dan Ross does an excellent job building tension with his string instrumentation. (He also co-produced here, as well as on ’18 Wheeler”). It is one of the best cuts on this album although there are several that stand out.

“We love the old players.” shared Tosoff. “We take our influences from them, plus the late guitar master, Gary Moore, who died suddenly earlier this year.  We wanted to bring everything we had recorded… played… experienced… up to date.  This was a lot of fun for us because we got to take it to another place.  We wanted to go deeper than we had with the other three recordings, giving it a certain essence and then multiply it. “  This fourth album succeeds with that goal.

©2011 Suzanne Swanson

“The Blues And Nothing But The Blues”©