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Zharth's Music Log

Week 12: Voodoo Magick

Preface: The blues has long had ties to the tradition of voodoo magick, so for the second week of Shocktober, we'll explore the occult side of some great blues rock musicians. If you're interested, check out this page for a fascinating study of the language of the blues. Astronomical Trivia: The new moon occurs Thursday, when the night will be plunged into darkest shadow.

Monday (10/08/07): The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - I Got My Mojo Workin' [The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, 1965]
Comments: The heart of voodoo seems to be the Mojo Bag: a bag of occult charms that're supposed to bring you good luck, often with women. In this cover of the song Muddy Waters popularized, drummer Sam Lay sings about how he's got his Mojo workin', but it just won't work on the target of his desire.

Tuesday (10/09/07): Buddy Guy - Hoochie Coochie Man [Festival Express, 1970]
Comments: There is a legend that the seventh son of a seventh son wields special powers, usually in relation to luck with money or women. Obviously, seven is a lucky number. From the awesome Festival Express traveling concert, Buddy Guy performs Muddy Waters' blues classic, Hoochie Coochie Man, with his own trademark flair.

Wednesday (10/10/07): Johnny Winter - Black Cat Bone [The Progressive Blues Experiment, 1968]
Comments: Allegedly, if you boil a black cat alive, one of its bones will have magical powers, such that if you place it under your tongue, you will turn invisible, and you can use it to bring back lost loved ones.

Thursday (10/11/07): Rory Gallagher - Hoodoo Man [Live In Europe, 1972]
Comments: Rory Gallagher is another member of the pantheon of unsung blues rock gods. Rory could definitely put on a live show, and his mastery of the guitar is indisputable. Here he plays and sings about lovelorn injustice, and the hoodoo man who gets hoodoo'ed himself...

Friday (10/12/07): Jimi Hendrix Experience - Voodoo Chile [Electric Ladyland, 1968]
Comments: There are two songs on Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland album titled Voodoo Child. The one most people know about is Voodoo Child (Slight Return), the amped-up rocker. The other, titled Voodoo Chile, is a 15 minute epic blues jam that is truly outta sight. Give it a listen.

Saturday (10/13/07): Fleetwood Mac - Black Magic Woman [Live At The Boston Tea Party, 1970]
Comments: Santana may have popularized the song and brought it to mass audiences, but Black Magic Woman is all Peter Green's. Check out the fire that Fleetwood Mac once had, back in 1970, right on the verge of Green's major split from the band, from which I could argue they've never recovered, documented on the lost treasure of a live album that is the Boston Tea Party!

Sunday (10/14/07): Creedence Clearwater Revival - I Put A Spell On You [Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1968]
Comments: It fascinates me that the two big singles from CCR's debut album are both covers of songs by guys named Hawkins, except that they're two different, completely unrelated, people! The first is Suzie Q, by way of Dale Hawkins, who actually played with Roy Buchanan a bit before Roy ever started recording his own material. The other, presented here, is a cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' berserk I Put A Spell On You. The song itself is incredible, and I think CCR plays an outstanding version of it.