I Dabbled in Voodoo-Two (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

Voodoo's Blues...in "A".


There's a great thing about the blues.  You don't have to know exactly what you're doing, or even plan it to play it.  That makes me very qualified.

The Colorado Springs-based band called Voodoo has been playing for about five years...Saturday night at the Back East Bar and Grill was their last stand as a band.  It's a shame.  They're really good at playing classic rock/hard rock.  I've been watching them now and then for several years but my history with them goes back decades. 

They all went to Doherty High School.  So did I. I've known some of the members for almost 30 years!  Some of us were in Doherty's Jazz Band together. (I played bass) That's one reason I like going to their shows.  The other reason is that they're really good!  I'm not...but they decided to let me sit in (stand in) anyway!  The fact that I know them probably helps..and sometimes when you're "the guy from TV"..you get a bit of a pass.  I'll take it.

Brian Shute is an amazing singer and guitar player.  He and bassist Kevin Mock were in the Doherty Jazz band with me.  Brian was an outstanding trumpet player then, and was just strting to pick up the guitar.  Chris Palmer is another great guitar player...and he was kind enough to loan me his "axe". It's a great-sounding Gibson when he plays it...an ok-sounding Gibson when I play it!  Ellis Williams plays keyboards and runs the sound and they've got MacKenzie Kerr on drums.  They were all kind enough to indulge the TV guy for a few minutes and it was a lot of fun.  About a year ago I played bass with them for Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall." I play more guitar these days than bass so I wanted to try the six-stringer.

Here's the twist.. They have an extensive set list that includes AC/DC, Aerosmith, Kid Rock, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pink Floyd, even a hard rocking Prince song and lots more newer stuff that I hadn't heard much before.  I rarely play any more and I don't really know the full guitar parts to any of that!

That's why we turned to what I'll call "Voodoo's Blues"  If you've played an instrument for any length of time you've inevitably picked up on the whole idea of 12-bar blues.  Think of old Chuck Berry songs and you get the structure.  Musicians can say, "OK, 12 bar blues in "A" and then just start playing. Everyone knows how it goes.

We started playing that familiar blues pattern then started switching off...one of us would play a solo while the other guys all accompanied.  I did ok. The stuff I planned to do didn't really come out, but what did come out was mostly alright.  When it was Brain's turn I was reminded that my playing is best done in my basement..and his belongs on a stage!


It was a really fun few minutes...it sounded like decent music even though it was totally improvised.  The crowd seemed to enjoy it (thanks to Tony Aynes - another Doherty guy- for taking the pictures)

The Voodoo guys have some other projects in the works..Brian told me I could step in with him again when he gets something else going.  Knowing me I still won't have practiced a whole lot by then (whenever then is) so I still won't know any of the songs.   So....12 bar blues anyone? In "A"? 

Thanks Voodoo guys and good luck with whatever you do next.  I hope it's as good as what you've been doing with this band.

We'll talk again soon.

Don Ward






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