Supersonic Blues Machine, the blues/rock collective, have taken a look at the darker side of life with Voodoo Nation. Never has doom and despair sounded so good.
Supersonic Blues Machine – Voodoo Nation (Provogue / Mascot)
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Robert Adams
The brainchild of bassist/producer Fabrizio Grossi, Supersonic Blues Machine has mutated into a top-drawer blues band. The core of the band is the aforementioned Grossi on bass, ex-John Mellencamp drummer Kenny Aronoff and taking over the guitar/vocalist spot from ZZ Top’s Billy F Gibbons is the UK’s own Kris Barras.
“Kris comes from this British school of hard rock and blues,” Grossi says. “This is a different sound to Kenny and me with the Allman Brothers, Sly Stone & The Family & Mountain. On Californisoul (2017), we were going more West Coast Funkadelic ’60s and overall jam vibe. Blues but with more of a hippy flower power. With Kris, we wanted his footprint there, so that’s why you hear Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Gary Moore. Kind of a Union Jack imprint over a Star-Spangled Banner.”
A wah-wah infused solo leads us into the first track, Money, and it’s clear straight from the get go that Supersonic Blues Machine means business. A beautiful guitar lick from Barras leads into his gritty vocal, complete with female backing singers, and we’re off and running.
The first three tracks on the album show just how good a proper blues trio Supersonic Blues Machine are. Showcasing a variety of playing styles, from gritty overdriven rhythm to shimmering single-coil clean tones, Kris Barras more than proves he deserves to be part of this trio.
We haven’t even touched on his vocals yet. Those familiar with the Kris Barras Band will need no introduction as to what he can do. For those that haven’t heard them yet, I urge you to do so.
The album’s first guest pops up on You And Me. King Solomon Hicks spars vocally and provides an engaging guitar partner for Barras on this gospel-tinged blues track. The results are wonderful.
The guests are plenty on Voodoo Nation, including Eric Gales on the stunning eight-minute Devil At The Doorstep. Sonny Landreth provides his stunning slide guitar to 8 Ball Lucy, which is one of many highlights on this album.
Joe Louis Walker adds a touch of class and a higher vocal to counterpoint Barras’ gritty tone on Is It All, and it’s a thing of beauty indeed.
Album closer All Our Love features Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr and is a fitting end to what has been a consummate, professional and beautifully produced album.
If blues/rock is your thing, Voodoo Nation will have you grinning like a Cheshire cat.
Supersonic Blues Machine – Voodoo Nation
You And Me (featuring King Solomon Hicks)
Get It Done (featuring Josh Smith)
8 Ball Lucy (featuring Sonny Landreth)
Devil At The Doorstep (featuring Eric Gales)
Is It All (featuring Joe Louis Walker)
Do It Again (featuring Ana Popovic)
I Will Let Go (featuring Kirk Fletcher)
All Our Love (featuring Charlie Starr)