Supersonic Blues Machine has tapped Ana Popović for Do It Again, the latest single off their new album ‘Voodoo Nation,’ out now via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group. A firecracker of a track about “the happiness and blessing of being able to do what you love,” today’s release was accompanied by a music video for the song, featuring Popović and the band members traveling from their respective cities to perform live.
Talking about “Do It Again,” Fabrizio Grossi says, “Everyone who thinks that being a musician is a fancy, glorious, glamorous way of leading a privileged life has it really reversed! For every Beyonce or Elton John who deserve everything they’ve achieved 1000%, there are millions and millions of us who struggle daily with indifference, dismissal, frustration for people’s procrastination and incapacity (sometimes even in our own close environment) to wrap up simple yet fundamental little tasks that are so important for what we do. This is an anthem for all those musicians who day after day “Do it again” in spite of the sacrifices, the fight for relevance, and to be, at least once, a priority in their own circle. The video is a quick & metaphorical example of the journey that each one of us went and will go through, coming from all over the world, just to get together and try to get our voices heard, without discouragement, actually feeding from it and, by stealing a line from Xavier Dphrepaulezz, to “take that bullshit & turn it into good shit”.
Called their “finest outing to date” by AllMusic.com, ‘Voodoo Nation’ features guest appearances from Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke), Eric Gales, Joe Louis Walker, and more. “Voodoo Nation refers to the times we’re living in, at least here in the States, but I guess the whole world can relate,” Grossi comments on the album title. “We’re getting to the point where we’re living out life almost as Zombies. We’re little machines.” But there is always hope, which is what Supersonic Blues Machine has always been about.
At the core of the band is Grossi (Steve Vai, Alice Cooper, George Clinton, Slash) and drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp, Meat Loaf, Brandon Flowers, John Fogerty, Red Hot Chili Peppers), with British rocker Kris Barras replacing Lance Lopez as singer-guitarist. Barras has a recent UK Top 30 album chart hit in March himself, and he is leading the pack of the British hard rock revival with several A-list singles, BBC Radio appearances and sell-out shows.
Voodoo Nation is the band’s third studio album. “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.”
The lyrical front on Voodoo Nation is less forgiving than everything in the past. “I’m not saying fuck flower power because that’s always the message,” Grossi says. “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.”
Louisiana slide-god Sonny Landreth features on the haunting “8 Ball Lucy.” The song is a story about it being “easy to fall into temptation when you’re broken down and somebody comes along saying all the right things. That’s the true Devil, and she’s so good at playing her cards,” he says. The 8-minute “Devil at the Doorstep” features Eric Gales – whose recent album Crown was a #1 Blues Billboard hit. “With Eric, it can start as a 3-minute 12 bars Blues and morph into an epic Led Zeppelin Dazed and Confused thing. I also think it’s a perfect soundtrack for a horror movie…If the story wasn’t real!” he adds.
They underline problems faced by musicians on “Coming Thru” and “Get It Done” – the latter features Josh Smith. Young Harlem blues-sensation King Solomon Hicks features on the call to arms “You and Me.” The band’s trademark soulful blues sound can be heard beautifully on “I Will Let It Go,” featuring Kirk Fletcher, and the sumptuous “Is It All” with the legendary Joe Louis Walker. The album closes with the inspirational Rootsy Rock “All Our Love” featuring Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr.
The song came together in the summer of 2020 whilst there were the biggest fires in living memory in California. “I was dropping off donated clothes in Woodland Hills. We were heading down through the infamous 405 and were literally driving through fire – on both sides of the road.”
“I realized that we’re in one of the world’s richest cities, and there’s discontent, plus climate change and everything else going on. How is this happening? It’s total devastation. I was like, no, no, we need a major reset here. For all the wrongs in the world to be fixed, it requires all our love. That’s the song, a message of hope”, Grossi ends.