top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Ken Wallis Chats With Toronto-Based Bluesman Voodoo Walters


By Ken Wallis. Photo Credit: Justin Minister.



Voodoo Walters follows up his last release, Blues In The Time Of Covid, with an upbeat release called How To Be Happy. Hailing out of Toronto, Voodoo offers up a refreshing new insight, post-pandemic. When it comes to the blues, Voodoo hits all the right notes and takes you on an exhilarating ride with his guitar by his side.

Ken Wallis interviewed Voodoo Walters for the radio show BluesSource Canada. The following are excerpts from that interview, edited and amended for length and clarity.



Ken Wallis

Voodoo Walters has a new album out, it’s entitled How To Be Happy and joining us is Voodoo Walters. Thanks for coming on the show.


Voodoo Walters

A pleasure to be here, thank you very much.


Ken Wallis

So, let's get the obvious question out of the way. How did you get the nickname Voodoo?


Voodoo Walters

The short story is I got it from a sax player who said that my playing was like Voodoo Man, and then it became Voodoo Man, and for a really short period of time they tried Voodoo Child. But that didn't stick and it just got shortened to Voodoo. Now most people don't realize I have any other name.


Ken Wallis

I guess that sticks pretty good. This is your third album. Does it differ from your first two?


Voodoo Walters

Hopefully it's a progression and a growth. Hopefully there are connections, something that ties back. I mean I'm not writing a concept album, I'm not doing that yet, who knows. Hopefully it is a growth.

Ken Wallis

And how did you come up with the title?


Voodoo Walters

I didn't have a real strong idea about the entire album, nothing came out fully to me as a theme. So basically, it was just listening to the album over and over and then just trying to see what comes out of it. The line how to be happy is in the song Spare A Little Pity. We all want to be happy, just how do we get there!

Ken Wallis

And you mentioned Spare A Little Pity. Why did you choose that song to be the first cut on the album?


Voodoo Walters

I just thought it was a nice starting point. It kicks off right away with some percussion and a drum pickup and it moves and grooves.


Ken Wallis

The other song that I'm really intrigued by is Fire In The Forest. What’s that all about?

Voodoo Walters

Well, it's pretty straight ahead, about all the wildfires that we've been having, and it just personally seems that a lot of people aren't too concerned about the long-term effects of it. The way it's wiping out huge swaths of land, that can't be good.


Ken Wallis

How do you go about writing your songs? What comes first, the lyrics or the music?


Voodoo Walters

That is the one of the big questions, isn't it? For this album I did try to do something different. Normally you get inspiration, an idea and you build both at once. This album, with several of the songs, I definitely had music being created on one side and lyrics being created on another. Then at some point we try to marry them together. So, it was kind of a fun experiment.


Ken Wallis

Where can folks get your album?


Voodoo Walters

Primarily at VoodooWalters.bandcamp.com, It's streaming everywhere of course, but we kind of go more towards the non-streaming.

Ken Wallis

And you've built your own studio I understand.


Voodoo Walters

Yes, I have. That started in the time of Covid. When Covid hit and everything just stopped, it was, well what do I do now? There's nothing, so I thought, well either I have to start recording something or just live in depression type of deal. So, I started to just build my own studio. Now, you know, The Record Plant and Metal Works don't have anything to fear from me, I'm not taking any of their jobs. It was bits and pieces here and there. I kind of put it together with shoestring, gum, and duct tape. I have a functioning little studio environment here for myself.

Ken Wallis

And did you soundproof it? Where is it located?

Voodoo Walters

It's in my place. I spent a lot of time kind of learning the sound of the rooms and then working with that. In the city where I am, it's hard to find a way to be 100% soundproof, but I did my best.

Ken Wallis

Well, the album is quite enjoyable and again it is Voodoo Walters, How To Be Happy. It's been great talking with you.

Voodoo Walters

My pleasure, good talking with you too.





FOLLOW VOODOO WALTER




bottom of page