July 9, 2010, at 10:05 pm

Laurel Aitken – Voodoo Woman

Laurel Aitken - Voodoo Woman imageAfter releasing no less than eight different Laurel Aitken CD’s and an anthology too you’d be forgiven for thinking that Pressure Drop records had pretty much covered all the bases for the “godfather of ska”. But they’re not done yet and the compilations keep on coming, the latest release; Voodoo Woman is subtitled “Music For Mods:Soul And Ska Sounds From The Sixties”, in truth there isn’t a huge amount of ska but plenty of R&B, soul and beat ballads.

Voodoo Woman

Whilst there is little music of authentic Jamaican style here this CD amply demonstrates once again what a versatile and prolific artist Aitken was, and although not every track is a classic by any means there are some fine tunes here. An added bonus are the sleeve notes by Mike Atherton which are well written and informative.

I have a minor issue about the “Music For Mods” moniker as this implies that Aitken specifically tailored these tunes for a very specific sub-culture audience which seems unlikely. The major audience for this music must have been West Indian immigrants who would buy into these styles just as much as Aitkens ska flavoured releases. Still, if this is what Pressure Drop felt they had to put their in order to ensure sales reached an acceptable level then I for one can accept that.

Bongo Jerk

On the subject of Laurel, if your a fan you won’t want to miss the Ska With Laurel exhibition from 2nd October 2010 – 8th May 2011 at the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery in his adoptive town of Leicester. This sounds like it will be an excellent and fitting tribute to the man and his music.

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