Sunday, May 4, 2008

Road Sounds: Hoo Doo Girl and others

This weekend I was driving the long haul across open spaces in Idaho, Oregon and Nevada, bound for California. Here's a few words about the sounds that helped fill some of that open space as I traveled...

1. I was thriled to finally grab myself a copy of the first CD by Hamburg-based gal-gang Hoo Doo Girl.

Released towards the end of last year on Germany's Hazlewood label,
'Hoo Doo Girl... Calls The Shots' is a wickedly fun mix of girl-group harmonies, southern soul, swamp roots and rock.

The trio includes the fabulous and multi-talented Silky Toss, which was how I was lucky enough to hear about them and the album.

I'd already falen in love with Silky a few years back via her other band,
The Watzloves. (Follow link and scroll down for my previous post)

Together with new bandmates Peta Devlin and Susie Reinhardt,
Hoo Doo Girl has a wonderful, refreshing sound.

You can hear a few tracks from the album by clicking over to Hoo Doo Girl at MySpace.Com, including my personal favorite, 'Your Cake Aint No Good'.

From their band notes:

"HOO DOO GIRL is three women that sing a lot. You know - Oohh, oohh and ahhh ahhh. That kind of stuff.
"Remember the big girl groups from the 60s? The Shirelles, the Ikettes, the Dixie Cups...

"Well, that's sort of what it sounds like when Hoo Doo Girl sing.
"BUT what does a Dusty Springfield song sound like when you play it on the accordion and sing the horns? Good question, huh?
"But dont worry your head about it too much. All of Hoo Doo Girls songs are originals anyway.

"Silke, Susie and Peta are passionate fans and collectors of music from the deep South states of the USA, and thats where they found the inspiration to cook up their own volatile stew - -
A cup of Stax Soul, a bowl of Rhythm and Blues, dont forget the Motor City, a pinch of Country and Zydeco all rounded up with a big dollop of
Rock n Roll.

"But what the hell. Why not just listen to it yourself? Bon Appetit."

Below, Hoo Doo Girl performing '1*2*3*4*5'...

2. Also on my drive, my first experience hearing The Dells perform their awesome 1965 group harmony version of the Tom Jones classic 'It's Not Unusual' was made all the more memorable as I crossed the Snake River and passed slowly through the small town of Marsing, Idaho.

It shows up on a nice comprehensive Dells collection that Shout! Factory released as part of their 'Best of the Vee-Jay Years' series.

3. Words fail - - I can't say enough good things about the
Gozalo -- Bugalu Tropical Vol. 1 CD compilation.

It's a BRILLIANT collection of late '60's Peruvian grooves, and the liner notes give the gist:
" exciting, spicy mix of tropical gems that fill in the missing link between the mambo era and the dawn of salsa in South America."

Just thrilling. Rocking and beautiful, and now I'm all excited to go check out the recently-released Vol. 2, also on the Vampisoul label.

4. And then, finally, there's Jean Shepherd.

Long and meandering spoken word can be just the thing for a long and meandering road-trip.

I'd seen that there were a few CD collections of Shep radio broadcasts, and I'd found one a while back, but hadn't yet found time to settle in with it.

Little did I know at the time that the couple of discs I selected of the 8 discs available in the 'Jean Shepherd: Life Is' collection of mid-1960's shows would prove to be such apt Road Sounds, providing such perfect and humorous insights as I contemplated life while piloting my car across the trackless void.

- Previously on 'I'm Learning To Share':
Jean Shepherd Reads 'The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill' by Robert Service

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