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A Conversation With Voodoo Walters



VOODOO WALTERS, guitarist and singer, stretches from his Electric-Blues core to Funk, R&B, Rock & Roll, Soul, Swamp and Surf. But Blues is the core of all his new album, In The Time of Covid. Hailing from the Toronto area, he’s been performing for over two decades.

Ken Wallis interviewed Voodoo Walters for the radio show Blues Source Canada which airs on Blues & Roots Radio and The Hawk FM


Ken Wallis

There's a whole bunch of new albums coming out and there's a great one by Voodoo Walters. It's called Blues In The Time Of Covid and joining us to talk about it is Voodoo Walters. Voodoo thanks for coming on.

Voodoo Walters

Thanks for having me Ken great to hear you again.

Ken Wallis

It's an interesting title, it's rather an apt title, and it's obvious why but I have to ask you how has Covid impacted you and your musical career?

Voodoo Walters

I guess the album is basically a direct result of it. My last official gig was March 13th with Julian Fauth and then everything just came to a complete full stop so the album is kind of an attempt to either deal with it and create something or fall into depression to be honest. So that's where the whole album came from.

Ken Wallis

And this is a follow-up to your previous album Cakewalk. Is it a natural outgrowth from that album or do you feel it's something completely different?

Voodoo Walters

Well I hope you can hear an evolution from Cakewalk to Blues In The Time Of Covid. There are different sounds than were on Cakewalk and I hope it is a bit of an artist progression.

Ken Wallis

There's a very interesting song on the album and it's the instrumental, it's entitled 'Bup Bup Bup'. So what is that all about? As soon as I heard that I started to laugh.

Voodoo Walters

I really enjoy a lot of, as many of us do, a lot of New Orleans music and there's a lot of instrumental stuff and I'm a big pro instrumental person. We need more instrumentals on the radio. I'm just putting that out there. There were a few songs that I liked. I knew that they were sounds that I liked, sounds the horn would make or something else and that was the riff, bup bup bup. So in the song, the chords in the beginning are bup bup bup rhythmically and so I guess it's sort of a bit of a joke but then again, you know what I like it, so the song is called 'Bup Bup Bup', that's what it is man.


Ken Wallis

It’s a great tune. How do you go about creating your music? Do you spend a lot of time writing lyrics first or do you go for musical instruments that are going to be involved?

Voodoo Walters

I think it really depends on the song. The song tends to, maybe that's almost impossible to say, but the song tends to suggest it's something. For example, Scapegoat came from a lyric “you gotta listen to me before you scapegoat me”, that idea was already in my head and the song was built around that. Something like 'Hey Now Baby', kinda of came out of just riffing away on a bit of a groove and it was built that way. So those two songs definitely come from sort of opposite ends. It's a little bit of both… it can be somewhere in the middle.

Ken Wallis

And who plays on the album with you?

Voodoo Walters

I do all the instruments and all the singing, background singing, percussion.

Ken Wallis

Good for you that's terrific.

Voodoo Walters

Well I had a lot of time on my hands....I guess that's what's happening in these days.

Ken Wallis

That's for sure. And did you record this at home?

Voodoo Walters

Yes…due to the time I was able to build my own little studio. I’ve entitled it Priory Studios as that's a little place that you can sort of hole up in and work away. Some little bits of here and there and as time goes on you kind of get pieces and put them all together, and then you have a sort of working studio with gum and spit and chicken wire.

Ken Wallis

I’ve seen you perform, unfortunately only once, but I was struck by the zest that you perform with and it's very much guitar oriented. What got you into the blues in the first place?

Voodoo Walters

That is something that I have never been able to figure out to be honest. The blues has always been in my ear… I think for one thing, my parents were a lot older than my contemporaries’ parents so like my dad was a World War II veteran. So I heard a lot of big band and swing and dance stuff in my very early days that was on the radio. I don't think I had a, that I can call recall, a moment of going that's what I like. It just that groove and that sort of swing and that feel and that pulse that was always heard somewhere. I knew who Ellington and Basie were before I knew who the Stones were…that type of thing if that makes any sense

Ken Wallis

If someone had never heard your music before, is there one song on the album you would recommend that they listen to first?

Voodoo Walters

I recommend first? Oh man what's your favourite child? Okay pick your favourite child question right? I think I would say an introduction might be actually the first song on the record, 'Scapegoat' I think that's a fairly welcoming song…things tend to branch off a little bit this way and that afterwards.

Ken Wallis

So where can music lovers get a hold of your album

Voodoo Walters

It will be available, it will be released on Halloween, October 31st and right now it's available on bandcamp which is voodoowalters.bandcamp.com/releases and they'll also be able to get a remastered copy of Cakewalk.

Ken Wallis

Perfect and one last question. How did you get the name Voodoo?

Voodoo Walters

Another long answer… but the short answer is a sax player gave it to me. We played together and he was a real character of a guy… he's like, man you play like voodoo…that's right you're the voodoo man that's who you are…you play like voodoo man. And that stuck. I became voodoo man and then shortened to voodoo and now I have people come up to me and they go can we ask your real name? Sure it’s Andrew and they go you don't look like an Andrew you look like a voodoo. Thank you that's a compliment

Ken Wallis

Voodoo Walters…I thank you so much for your time…it's been great chatting with you


Voodoo Walters

Yes it was a pleasure thank you, all the best to you. I’m glad that things are still going well for you.



Website: http://www.voodoowalters.ca/

Bandcamp: voodoowalters.bandcamp.com/releases




 

 

 

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