Monday, March 3, 2014

Voodoo and the Blues

Voodoo is a religious belief which combines African, Caribbean, French and other national traditions,  and while it is mostly based in Haiti (and is considered an official religion) it has deep roots in New Orleans, Louisiana, where almost 15% of the population admit to practicing it. Voodoo was brutally repressed by slave-owners, yet its powerful beats, ethics and aesthetics endured. Since New Orleans has a distinctive place in blues and jazz; and we draw the origin references to voodoo from it. 

Some, especially in the Arab world, view Voodoo as an evil cult, with gruesome descriptions of human sacrifice and black magic; a perfect match with the music that is the Blues.

Much of the lore of voodoo in the blues comes in the form of using magic spells, seeing gypsy women (fortune tellers), and putting curses on others who were treatin' us bad, mostly as a sign to show the mysterious and sometimes mystical side of the music. 

Here are a few voodoo references in blues music: 

I Got my Mojo Workin' - Muddy Waters
"I'm going down to Louisiana to get me a mojo hand; I'm gonna have all you women right here at my command"

Mojo Hand - Lightnin' Hopkins
"I lay down thinking, Buy me a mojo hand; I did wanna fix my woman so she can't have no other man." 

I Put A Spell On You - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Speaks for itself really!

Hoodoo Lady Blues - Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup
"Now, Miss Hoodoo Lady, please give me a hoodoo hand;
"I wanna hoodoo this woman of mine, I believe she's got another man."

And there's a compilation album you can buy containing several voodoo related blues music
 (Disclaimer to the idiots: IT'S NOT SATANIC)

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