Music: Voodoo Blues Revue Band — Dynamite Sound

Recently our friend Michael Ratt invited us to come out and listen to his band, Voodoo Blues Review. After much hemming and ha-ing, we agreed, since it was to be a matinee (us oldies can’t stay away for the late shows) and literally down the street from our house.

This local bar is the “drinking hole” for a bunch of aging regulars and has about as much atmosphere as an armpit. It was the day of the Grey cup so the place was already very busy, so we were not hopeful of getting much service.

A bright young thing came over with menus and eventually took our orders. The mandatory TV screens were on, but thankfully without sound. (Over the years TVs being on during a performance has infuriated us. It’s a huge distraction, and we often wondered why clubs bothered to get live music in.)

After a while the band was set up and ready to go on and were doing a sound check. We sat back and waited. We had come out to please Michael and were not really expecting a lot.

Then Lead singer Frieda Nagel enthusiastically greeted the crowd and the band started, Frieda began to sing.

And what a voice this woman has. She has a style all of her own and a really outgoing personality. She dazzles the crowd, she gets them going and in the mood for a good time. (This is a welcome change from many lacklustre performers who barely register a pulse.) Frieda understands the value of communication as well as entertainment.

We became instantly “awake” and were pretty much blown away by what we heard. The ho hum pub atmosphere shrank to practically nothing as the music filled our ears.

They played a nice variety of Blues and Rock tunes, and did not harp on the often played-to-death ones. They surprised and delighted us by playing a spirited version of Commander Cody’s “Hot Rod Lincoln”.

It was a really nice event and we look forward to hearing the Voodoo Blues Revue band again.

The band is a trio consisting of Michael Heyoka Ratt on Bass guitar,

Poppa Raun on Drums

and Liam Maguire on electric Guitar.

They are rock solid behind Frieda. Frieda Nagel is the fourth member and is the lead singer.

The rhythm section is terrific. Neither Poppa Raun nor Michael get into self-indulgent solos, they just stick to the program and produce a really good, solid rhythm.

Michael Heyoka Ratt

Michael has been playing bass guitar since 15 years of age. He has been involved with numerous bands, too many to mention here — some punky, some straight ahead rock and roll,some blues, some R‘n B, and a wee bit of reggae (still new to us all).
And now, Michael has The Voodoo Blues Revue (VBR)

When he’s not playing or rehearsing with VBR, Michael is a Reiki Master and practioner.

Poppa Raun Sammut

With over 40 years of drumming experience (both live and in the studio) Pappa Raun Sammut knows when to play his instrument with finesse and when to pack a punch!

Whether he’s rocking or laying down the foundation of a sultry blues tune, his metre is unwavering. A founding member of the punk band Gash and Peterkin — classic rock and blues, a band that has been around for 9 years and istill playing.

Frieda says “Gotta love the guy — thing is he can play heavy punk and next tune can be jazzy — Viper Drag — he has the control and chops for both.”

Liam Maguire

Liam Maguire does not commit the Blues/Rock guitar player sin of doing long screamy solos, or over-using effects pedals. He just plays really well.

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Liam graduated from the legendary Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, in 2014. During his time in the United States Liam shared the stage with, and studied under such greats as Carl Schroeder (Sara Vaughan), Greg Harrison (Hed P.E., P.D.P.), Scott Henderson (Tribal Tech, Chick Corea Elektric Band), and Alex Macachek (FAT, Virgil Donati). His passion for music began at an early age playing the violin, performing with the Mississauga Youth Orchestra, and the P.C.S.S. Advanced Chamber Strings Ensemble. Liam has been performing in various bands with styles ranging from blues, and jazz to classic rock, and heavy metal. His specialties include improvisation, performance, and combining contemporary techniques with classical knowledge.

To get information on the band and to see where they are playing, click on the link. VoodooBlues Revue

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