165

Colin John Band: Live Voodoo Surfing from the Beachland

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist, songwriter, and singer Colin John takes his music way beyond "traditional blues. "It's sort of a stigma that all blues sounds the same, he says, so he tries to ignite a musical fire that burns differently from the straight blues flame. "I would call it contemporary blues, rock, and soul, he says, or, "non-traditional, traditional blues.

John mainly sounds like the sum of his influences. Formative gigs include his stint in the Saturday night house band at B.B. King's Blues Club on Beale Street in Memphis, where John worked with drummer Howard Grimes and rhythm guitarist Mabon "Teenie Hodges, members of the house band for Hi Records, where Al Green cut his 1970s soul classics. John then moved to London and formed his first CJB, which included onetime Eric Clapton drummer Henry Spinetti, in 1992. John is also a noteworthy gearhead who has enjoyed a longstanding technical relationship with Roger Mayer, the British guitar effects designer who invented the Octavia for Jimi Hendrix and similar guitar devices for Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, and Carlos Santana.

Recorded live in John's Cleveland (Ohio) hometown with bassist Steve Calabria and drummer Scott Turner, Surfin' burns with the hot sound of ass-whuppin' electric Texas blues. It begins right from the opener, which asks "Are You Ready for the Blues? The rhythm team does what they're there to do—lay down the time and the chords, churn up the beat, and let John flash his vocal and guitar chops, which in this case sound very much like Clapton.

"For Your Pleasure smashes out frantic blues rock that made me think of Ted Nugent's Free For All but with Robin Trower featured on psychedelic lead guitar, and the stormy "Shake 'Em On Down seems to honor Led Zeppelin's "In My Time of Dying and "The Lemon Song.

"Beer Drinking Woman, the closest thing here to a traditional (twelve-bar) blues, serves as centerpiece of the set; as the rhythm section stretches elastic instrumental passages then snaps them back with crashing chord crescendos, John's guitar and vocal, both creased with too much barroom smoke and whiskey, smolder from his soul into yours like a classic Little Milton blues.

This fire burns down to its embers with the set-closing Hendrix tribute, "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) (also a SRV favorite). Somehow, "this sounds like Hendrix just does not seem descriptive or powerful enough... yet few other words seem worthy of this squalling tornado that spills over with fury, feedback, and funk.


Track Listing: Are You Ready for the Blues; For Your Pleasure; Beer Drinking Woman; Hoodoo Voodoo; 11 Months and 29 Days; Shake

Personnel: Colin John, guitar, vocals; Steve Calabria, bass, vocals; Scott Turner, drums, percussion.

Title: Live Voodoo Surfing from the Beachland | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: WMF Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Fourtune" CD/LP/Track Review Fourtune
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Freedom is Space for the Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is Space for the Spirit
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks" CD/LP/Track Review Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "As The Wind" CD/LP/Track Review As The Wind
by John Eyles
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell" CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.