Review: Blue Swamp Band – Voodoo Soup

Posted on: Thursday, Mar 12, 2015

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Review for the BLUE SWAMP BAND – CD – ‘Voodoo Soup’ – 2014 MHBS01

An interesting album ‘Voodoo Soup’ with a mixture of country blues and Americana from the excellent ‘Blue Swamp Band’ .

The line up is Johnny ‘Guitar’ Williamson – who has played with many of the ‘greats’ and toured with the Animals and Friends for 12 years – is on guitar and vocals,. Mike Bowden – who for many years was the charismatic front man of Dr Truth – is on acoustic guitar and vocals. On drums, djembes and percussion is ‘Big Vern’ with Jim Mosley on bass. All the tracks are self-penned, with Cripple Creek traditionally arranged by Bowden & Williamson.

The first track brings in a touch of a latino flavour on ‘Do You Like That Sort Of Thing?’, with some great lyrics telling a story. A country number to follow, with slide guitar input on ‘Be Still’. Then a dash of Americana on ‘Outlaw Romance’.

A bloodthirsty blues number, ‘Respect For The Wolf’, has some competant guitar work from John and vocals from Mike. Then one of my favourite tracks on the album, ‘Before Sundown’, has some great acoustic playing and a leaning towards Southern rock. Another favourite, ‘Cripple Creek’, was traditionally arranged by John and Mike, with great slide guitar. A true hill country blues and ‘hoe down’ material.

Moving onto a standard 12 bar blues with ‘Justify’, then a tongue in cheek rockin’ number, ‘Eleven Bar Blues’. To complete this interesting album, ‘Wasted Days’, has a melodic country feel .

Having seen these guys live as a duo, trio and full band, it’s a hard task to compare a studio performance with a live take. As good as the album is, I would say they are a ‘must see’ band to get the whole picture, because much of the live performance is the show case of who they are and forms the ‘pièce de résistance’.

ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer

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