Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Voodoo (Rough Guide/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Baden Powell w Vinicius De Moraes: Canto de Xango
Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Voodoo (Rough Guide/Southbound)

No one would deny Dr John being on this voodoo collection (more correctly “vodou” in Haiti, the country it is most associated with), but the Night Tripper is here with his sophisticated salute to the famous Nawlins voodoo priestess Marie Laveau rather than one of his more elementally voodoo Gris-Gris songs . . . and that seems the least of the problems with this collection.

The diaspora of voodoo runs from present-day Benin through the Caribbean and to New Orleans – with the attendant tourist trinkets today – and then into Hollywood to be transformed into spooky movies.

But this 12 song selection not only doesn't contain any field recordings but rather favors cleaned-up stuff in contemporary recording studios. So from the Creole Choir of Cuba on the close harmony Guide Nibo this is a buffed-up exploration through Trinidad's Lord Nelson (a remix of his famous drum-driven Shango), the classy horns of the Gangbe Brass Band from Benin, the Brazilian shuffles of guitarist Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moreas . . .

Yes, there is slightly disturbing and hypnotic percussion behind some songs (notably the persuasive Cantos Iyesa by the late Lazaro Ros from Cuba) and Toto Bissanthe's lament for Haitian children murdered during the Jean-Claude Duvalier (Baby Doc) regime is genuinely heartbreaking.

But this is a very rough guide – it comes with an excellent bonus disc of songs by Haitian vodou priest/singer Erol Josue – so at best this is merely a starting (disap)point . . . 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Various Artists: Australia and New Zealand Womad 2014 Compilation (Cartell)

Various Artists: Australia and New Zealand Womad 2014 Compilation (Cartell)

And here, over 16 diverse tracks, is your useful backgrounder to just some of the artists appearing at the forthcoming Womad festivals across Ausralia and New Zealand. Needless to say, like the... > Read more

Bapi Das Baul: Sufi Baul; Madness and Happiness (Arc)

Bapi Das Baul: Sufi Baul; Madness and Happiness (Arc)

Perhaps the only Sufi musician many are familiar with is the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, but his uplifting, sky-scaling vocals and the joyous spiritual elevation of his music might recommend this... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Joe Louis Walker:  Hornet's Nest (Alligator/Southbound)

Joe Louis Walker: Hornet's Nest (Alligator/Southbound)

The furious and fiery, award-winning 64-year old Joe Louis Walker is, of course, a bluesman . . .  but you could equally file some of his material under "rock" and even "hard... > Read more

Various Artists: Alligator Records 45th Anniversary Collection (Alligator/Southbound)

Various Artists: Alligator Records 45th Anniversary Collection (Alligator/Southbound)

The Alligator collections are always worth hearing because they serve two purposes; a catch-up with the Chicago label's recent signings and some terrific tracks from the label's enormous and... > Read more