Review: Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch – Tell You What

Posted on: Tuesday, Jun 4, 2013


Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch – Tell You What

(Underworld Records: UND0021)

Jason Elmore is based in Dallas, Texas. He spent most of his childhood with his grandmother and father; it was their differing musical tastes that forged his own particular musical passions. His grandmother introduced him to the many and varied influences of artists of the fifties, such as; Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley and Floyd Kramer while his father favoured heavy bands such as AC / DC. Once Jason had declared an interest to his father in the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1990; his father then would often take him to see local blues artists such as Jim Suhler, Mike Morgan, Bugs Henderson and Smokin’ Joe Kubek.

From these wide and various musical forms Jason has forged his own amalgamation of styles shifting to whatever he believes makes the music work. On this, their second album once again Jason supplies lead vocals and guitar while Chris Waw is on bass and Mike Talbot; drums. Also featured at various points throughout the album is Ron Jones on horns and Tommy Young provides B3 organ.

The twelve numbers are an interesting mixture of original compositions and covers, the album literally kicks off with “Sharecropper Shuffle,” an instrumental blaster that entwines splendid echoes of Freddie King, supplemented with calculated riffing metal infusions, this is followed with “Southbound,” an equally keen guitar led heavy groover that moves like a steam train spitting and  gnashing it’s way forward.  The mixture of wailing guitar and tear jerking horns make for a touchingly sensitive ballad in “Cold Lonely Dawn,” Jason’s Van Morrison like emotive and evocative vocals only add to the poignancy of the subject.

The sensitivity is maintained on Sean Costello’s “Don’t Pass Me By,” for here, he and his aching guitar convincingly relate the lamenting of a lost love over a subdued swaying B3. The jolly country shuffler that is “When The Sun Goes Down,” actually lets the sunshine pour in.  An unmistakably enticing and enjoyable eastern leaden urging guitar dominates the vicious mood of “Bottom Feeder,” a story of a low life that just simply gets lower.  Two sparkling guitar led numbers are; Buck Owens’ “Buckaroo,” a swinging perky little toe-tapper   and Rory Gallagher’s “Country Mile,” which shifts along like a ten-tonner with no brakes, features Jim Suhler on slide, whooo! A Doors riff jollily carries along “Good Foot,”

The album finishes with Otis Redding’s “You Don’t Miss Your Water, “a truly soulful rendition that features a pleading lap steel slide from Kirby Kelley. Jason’s playing may be brash and frenetic at times but with the addition of soul searching horns a far greater depth of emotion is heard and appreciated. Recommended!


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