Blues trio Supersonic Blues Machine – which comprises bassist Fabrizio Grossi, drummer Kenny Aronoff and new guitarist Kris Barras – have announced their new album Voodoo Nation, for which they’ve assembled a gallery of blues guitar heavyweights.
Due June 24 via Provogue/Mascot Label Group, Voodoo Nation will see the trio line up alongside Eric Gales, Kirk Fletcher, Josh Smith and Ana Popovic, as well as King Solomon Hicks, Joe Louis Walker, Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr and slide legend Sonny Landreth, over the course of 12 new tracks.
To whet the whistle for what’s in store, Supersonic Blues Machine – who are no strangers when it comes to recruiting guitar A-listers – have dropped the record’s lead effort, 8 Ball Lucy, which is treated to Landreth’s silky slide playing.
Said to be the story of how it’s “easy to fall into temptation when you're broken down”, 8 Ball Lucy introduces a swashbuckling, swampy progression by way of some rumbling bass activity and immediately identifiable slide action.
Throughout the track, Landreth decorates proceedings with some quasi-improvised chordal and lead line embellishments – which weave between Barras’ own snappy six-string soundbites – before letting loose on an extended gain-laden solo at the 2:40 mark.
You can hear 8 Ball Lucy in the video above.
“The general discontent in the world at the moment is so widespread, we get told to embrace it because that's life," said Grossi in a statement accompanying the Voodoo Nation news. "No, that's not life. It's how we're forced to live nowadays.
“Voodoo Nation refers to the times we're living in,” he continued, “at least here in the States, but I guess the whole world can relate. We're getting to the point where we're living out life almost as zombies. We're little machines."
Of the involvement of Barras, a British player who was drafted to replace Lance Lopez, Grossi noted that the personnel shake-up prompted the trio to explore “Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Gary Moore” influences in favor of the “West Coast Funkadelic ‘60s and overall jam vibe” of their previous offerings.
“Kind of a Union Jack imprint over a Star-Spangled Banner,” he offered.
When it arrives, Voodoo Nation will be Supersonic Blues Machine’s third studio album and first since 2017’s Californisoul, which itself featured a bounty of high-profile players, including Robben Ford, Steve Lukather, Billy Gibbons and Walter Trout.
Californisoul followed the band’s 2016 debut, West of Flushing, South of Frisco, which tapped Warren Haynes, Billy Gibbons, Chris Duarte, Walter Trout, Eric Gales and Robben Ford.
"I'm not saying, 'Fuck flower power,' because that's always the message," Grossi added. "But there are very introspective things and a lot of the theatrics that we are dealing with on this record, which I would say are fairly common in the blues but are dealt with a twist. There is a lot of Devil's stuff in this record."
You can find the Voodoo Nation tracklist below.
- Too Late
- Coming thru
- You And Me (feat. King Solomon Hicks)
- Get It Done (feat. Josh Smith)
- 8 Ball Lucy (feat. Sonny Landreth)
- Devil At The Doorstep (feat. Eric Gales)
- Is It All (feat. Joe Louis Walker)
- Do It Again (feat. Ana Popovic)
- I Will Let Go (feat. Kirk Fletcher)
- Voodoo Nation
- All Our Love (feat. Charlie Starr)
- Voodoo Nation is available to preorder now via Provogue/Mascot Label Group ahead of its June 24 release.