Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

Barrence Whitfield with Tom Russell

Hillbilly Voodoo

2013-11-13

Hillbilly Voodoo finds soul singer Barrence Whitfield teaming up with folk/Americana mainstay Tom Russell for a delightfully jangly set of country-tinged grooves. 4 of the 12 tracks are composed by Russell himself (including goofy standout "The Cuban Sandwich"), while the other 8 are covers written by an array of artists from Lucinda Williams to Arkansas legend Jimmy Driftwood, from a Van Morrison cut to a Dylan rework. No matter who wrote the tune, all the songs on Hillbillly Voodoo are performed with a lighthearted, funky, and occasionally silly storyteller perspective born of Whitfield and Russell's chemistry; Whitfield's voice warbles charismatically above the music, and Russell's omnipresent guitar work offers a substantial backbone for the album. While some of the rehashes are lukewarm (notably "Mississippi You're On My Mind"), songs like "Ice Water" and "Cleaning Windows" offer a fresh and colorful spin on songs from ages past.

Recommended Tracks: #2 "The Cuban Sandwich", #7 "Ice Water", #12 "Cleaning Windows"

Sigmund Steiger 

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