Voodoo Ramble – Can’t Write A Pop Song (When You’ve Got The Blues)
Thoroughbred Music – 2022
13 tracks; 50 minutes
In what is perhaps a first for Blues Blast, this is a review of a Croatian band. Voodoo Ramble have been going since 2010 under the guidance of lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Boris Dugi-Novacki (or Zamba, as he he is known). Joining Zamba here are guitarist Sinisa Drobnjak, bassist Nino Krznar and drummer Mario Klaric, plus backing vocals from Klementina Vodusek, Zoran Puljek, Mario Jagec and Galic Ivana (who also sings lead on one track). Horns appear on one track (Bajevic Zvonimir on trumpet, Ivica Premelc on tenor sax and Marin Ferketin on trombone) and Neven Resnik adds keyboards to two cuts. Zamba wrote all the songs, with assistance on the lyrics of seven songs from London-based promoter and music writer Pete Feenstra.
Zamba sings very well, little or no trace of accent, and delivers the songs well. “Born On The Road” is a terrific rocker with slide and strong choral vocals over a powerful riff, the whole reminding you of vintage Doobie Brothers, a good start. The title track is a catchy song, again with slide to the fore, rather ironically achieving what the title suggests cannot be done before the pace drops for “I Know It’s You” the echoey guitar work and Zamba’s vocals bringing Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” to mind. Ivana sings “Out Of This World”, horns and backing vocals adding to the chorus, another attractive tune with the dobro solo a nice addition.
Zamba declares that he is “Too Bad For Heaven, Too Good For Hell” on a heavy rocker, “London Town” has some similarity to The Clash song of similar title and “Keep Your Heart” is a mid-paced rocker with acoustic guitar running through the mix and another strong slide solo. “Stitch In Time” and “Man In Doubt” are both Classic Rock, strong guitars, pumping bass and pounding drums, before the last two songs change things up a bit: “Down Home” adds a touch of country that suits the lyrics about “country livin’, guitar pickin’” and “Always On The Run” is a stately guitar instrumental with plenty of synth strings/keyboards in support. The album also contains radio edits of “I Know It’s You” and “Too Bad For Heaven, Too Good For Hell”, both slightly shorter than the earlier versions.
This is definitely a Rock album, not Blues, but if you were brought up on 70’s Rock you should enjoy it.
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