Time for a bit of old style blues (maybe)!

I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but I did like this one. It sets the expectation level, and I’ve come across a few voodoo infused blues tracks recently, with a few artists working around swamps, voodoo, the Baron, and the cards.

As for this one, it has a steady beat. There is always something inherently exciting about jungle drums; they have this steady pound that keeps you on the beat. I don’t know what music from Haiti, the land of voodoo, is like, but I guess this would be it! It has an old style guitar sound and this dirty vocal that bumps along to the drums. I would say a video of this would need a snake moving to the beat (just a thought!). It’s a track that would clearly appeal to the blues market, and it has some smooth backing vocals in the latter stages of the track.

The song closely fits the cover and the whole expectation of the title. It very much slots into that smooth and dirty blues sound, and if you relax to a forbidden cigarette, this one can take you to the land of tarot and zombies (oo err). It’s a decent thumbs up for a solid track that is very listenable.

For background, I’m turning to the official press release for some extra information for you. ‘Papa Voodoo’ was the first track blues musician Mick Pini and indie producer/musician Craig Marshall (aka Audio 54) worked on before it was later included on the groundbreaking ‘Way Ahead’ album.

Mick Pini

As Craig explains;

 “While compiling the forthcoming deluxe version of ‘Way Ahead’ – which will include all the material that Mick and I have released so far – I re-mastered all the previous EP tracks, and ‘Papa Voodoo’ really stood out as a potential single. In the meantime, we’ve been working on material for the next album, which we plan to release in autumn 2023.  The new material has a great vibe and live feel, which I’ve tried to incorporate into the new version of ‘Papa Voodoo’.”

Mick adds: “When Craig presented the basic idea of ‘Papa Voodoo’, I was taken aback by the noir feel of it. It took me a while to work it out, but it lent itself to a swampy musical feel and Dr. John style phrasing, which in turn put me in mind of the New Orleans voodoo mystique. It was so different and exciting that it led us on a completely different musical journey and I’m really happy to revisit it.”

Mick Pini is a German based Leicester born, Mike Vernon mentored blues guitarist, vocalist, visual artist, and photographer.

His 2021 ‘Backtrack’ compilation celebrated his 55th year as a pro musician.

Audio 54 (Craig Marshall) is a fellow Leicester musician turned indie-producer. His use of cross-genre digital technology with loops and new sounds opened up Mick Pini’s blues to new facets of fusion, funk, and even hip hop influences. ‘Papa Voodoo’ is a great example of that.

You can download/stream the single here.

By Stevie Ritson

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