Graham Reid | | 3 min read
On paper, My Baby -- a three-piece out of Amsterdam -- might seem like yet another blues-roots outfit with a bit of Southern spook-spiritualism thrown in for good meaure. After all, their debut album is My Baby Loves Voodoo!
But hold hard, because they neither overplay their bluesy hand, nor resort to the cliches that we are so familiar with in the post-White Stripes/Black Keys days.
Rather they work some smart low grooves (which reinvigorate the country standard Wild Mountain Thyme), have been invited by Seasick Steve to open for him on a UK tour in April, put their singer Cato Van Dyke's folk-country and quite exceptional gospel-soul voice to the fore, and during the recording of their album the funk legend Larry Graham (Sly Stone) heard some unreleased material and invited them to appear on one of his television shows.
My guess is he heard their slippery, funky Money Man which channels Sly, the swamp and Southern soul.
Or maybe even the gospel-infused retro-funk of Juno Moneta.
Or the John Lee Hooker-influenced and soulful treatment of Dylan's Masters of War.
So . . . My Baby pull a lot of very diverse but coherent threads together and are embarking on their second extensive New Zealand tour following their first a year ago (dates below) . . . which makes sense because their guitarist Daniel is from this country.
On the occasion of this trip back we invite him to answer the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire.
And he's a smart guy, as you may see . . .
The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .
Robert Johnson's Me and the Devil Blues had a profound effect on me. It changed my view on art. It opened a creative door through which the spiritual and the creative mind merged. It's very soulful yet haunting. A very humbling experience.
Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .
James Brown (believe it or not) and not embarrassing!
Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?
Lennon, Nirvana, Gaga, Jacko
If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .
An (invertebrate) chef in a French restaurant.. It's a long story. I could elaborate but I won't. It started as a cartoonesque dream I once had
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .
Clothesline Saga (Dylan), Barbara Allen (trad.), Thank You For Lettinmebemiceelfagin (Sly Stone)
Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?
A maraca once belonging to Lowell George, passed down to me from my mum. She got it at a Little Feat concert in Auckland. '77 I believe.
The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .
Mystery Train, Greil Marcus
If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)
Prince, and play a cover of Sly Stone's Dance to the Music.
The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . .
La Dolce Vita (Fellini), Late Spring (Yazujiro Ozu), The Last Waltz (Scorsese)
The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)
Dur Dur Band, from Awesome Tapes from Africa
One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .
Thriller – Michael Jackson
The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .
I have a poster of Starry Night by Van Gogh that's been there for ages! So yeah...
You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .
My Baby in Japanese signs
David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?
Mountain climbing and meditation in Bhutan … and the occasional gig somewhere in the vicinity.
And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”
My Baby Loves Voodoo! is our first record. So obviously our best. It has been well received by press in Europe. To quote one journalist, "the music is fresh and highly original though steeped in the tradition of American roots and blues music. My Baby makes blues contemporary again!"
MY BABY NEW ZEALAND JAN-FEB TOUR
30-1 Penguin Club Oamaru
2-2 Mussel Inn Onekaka
5-2 Golden Bear Mapua
6-2 Park Cafe Marahau
7-2 Dharma Shed Blenheim
11-2 Riverside Tavern Wanganui
13-2 Yot Club Raglan
19-2 Wine Cellar Auckland
20-2 Splore Festival
22-2 Schnappa Rock Tutukaka
26-2 Cabana Napier
27-2 Laundry Wellington
28-2 Le Cafe Picton