Blues Underground Network
Steve Gerard & The National Debonaires "Voodoo Workin'" (USA)
There are good Blues albums, there are great Blues albums, and if you are lucky enough you will get the opportunity to comes across a simply amazing Blues album, Steve Gerard & The National Debonaires 3rd release titled "Voodoo Workin", is one of those amazing ones. Their current lineup consists of Steve Gerard (Guitar), Mike "Shinetop Jr." Sedovic (Piano/B-3 Organ), Dwight Ross Jr. (Drums), Greg "Junior" Demchuk (Harmonica), Doug "Mr. Low" James (Horn Section) Dave "Elmo" Bailey (Vocals), Preston Hubbard (Bass), and the stellar Jackson, Mississippi Blues Singer/Songwriter and new permanent member of The National Debonaires, James “Rock” Gray.
"Voodoo Workin'" consists of 10 Tracks of music ranging from Deep Southern Blues to Heartfelt Soulful Blues of which 3 of the Tracks are originals by James “Rock” Gray”. Of the 7 covers, they spanned a wide range of notably and legendary writers and performers, which included Big Joe Turner's "TV Mama", Fats Domino & Dave Bartholomew's "My Girl Josephine", and Nappy Brown's "My Baby".
"Voodoo Workin'" opens with the title Track, and it was abundantly clear to me, that after hearing James “Rock” Gray for just a few moments, that Steve Gerard & The National Debonaires had made a magnificent choice of adding James to their family. At the time this album was made, James “Rock” Gray was 71 years young, but believe me, you would never have guessed that. James “Rock” Gray comes across with very unique and strong Vocals, which are perfect for the music he sings on "Voodoo Workin'".
Another thing that is abundantly clear on the opening Track, is that you are going to all be in for a treat musically speaking, as all the members in the band come across clear and concise, each adding their own creative juices to the album.
Track 4 "TV Mama", starts to pound out the music, a little more intensely, and was one of my favorites on "Voodoo Workin'". Great Guitar work from Steve Gerald, along with equally great work from Greg "Junior" Demchuk on Harmonica), and Mike "Shinetop Jr." Sedovic on Piano. The Piano is an instrument that I really love listening to on Blues albums, I sure got a nice dose of it on "Voodoo Workin'", especially on Track 9 "Sweet Little Woman".
"Voodoo Workin'" finishes up with the Bass and Sax Infused Nappy Brown cover, "My Baby" and as far as I'm concerned that came across as the pure essence of what makes this album such a treat.
My one disapointment concerning "Voodoo Workin'" was that it clocked in at just over 30 minutes, and for me that was just too short; I would of liked to have heard at least a couple of more songs, as I was just getting into the album when all of a sudden it was over. Amazing albums can be like that, but thankfully the replay button usually does the trick of getting that great feeling all back again.
When you got a great Singer fronting a Band and a great Band backing the Singer, you got all that is needed for a little bit of musical magic, and that is exactly what you get on "Voodoo Workin'".
Highly Recommended & Thoroughly Enjoyed... The National Debonaires sure picked a winner when they added James “Rock” Gray to the mix...
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
Listen To Samples Here...
Additional Artist Info... http://nationaldebonaires.com/