Members: Dodd Gross, drums; Bob Nobel, guitars and vocals; John Schatt, bass
Who we talked to: Noble
How did you guys meet? Blue Voodoo has been around for about 15 years. We (recently) changed drummers. We used to host (open mike jams at Zinger's Sports Bar) every Tuesday and drummers would come out. Dodd, the new drummer . . . was always there. He ended up learning, like, all of our songs. So when the other drummer . . . went his own way, we ended up segueing with Dodd. It changed the whole attitude of the band. Rather than just getting the job done, we were able to embellish on the stuff we'd been trying to do. He's more of like a '60s drummer and a lot of my material comes from the influence of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and stuff from the '60s. We decided to extend our album ("Bar Code" by) another five songs. I needed a drummer who could play the stuff. Now we're going to . . . have a 15 song-CD.
Describe your sound/style? It's going to be, you know, retro. We don't do too much in the new era of music. I think if I had to follow the trends . . . I (would) like people like The Black Crowes. I think they (are) one of the last, you know, great rock 'n' roll bands.
Who are your influences? We're also doing some side projects. We do a "Guitar Hero"-type presentation of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton (and) Eddie Van Halen. We do a set list that will have (their songs) in it. Music has lost a guitar edge I think as far a soloing goes, so we're kind of bringing that back. We're also a backup band for a band called Southern Cross, which is a Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young) tribute act. I'm going to be Neil Young. We're just looking for a Graham Nash person. That (project) is not ready yet, but we (plan to play) out about once or twice a month with that.
How did you get into music? I started when I was 11. Most people go out and play football and stuff like that. I ended up sitting around practicing my guitar. I never, like, really wanted to be a star or anything like that. When my dad died and stuff like that, (I got) deeper and deeper into (my) emotions and music. I had a chance to take over my father's business and put on a suit and tie. I think people are artists not of their own choice. It just becomes part of their life. I don't know. Maybe I'm just an impractical person, and I like to invent my life as I go.
How did you come up with the name? The voodoo thing has always scared people. It's just the nature of the word. We've had people say that they didn't want to come see us because they thought it was going to be some kind of ritual. I said, "No. It's blues." Voodoo refers to Jimi Hendrix. When I was on the West Coast, I used to do a Jimi Hendrix tribute thing. People requested me to keep playing that stuff, so I started writing my own material in that genre. Jimi Hendrix called it, like, Western sky music.
What is your biggest challenge? When I'm playing a solo, I try to reach for a note that makes me feel good or opens my mind to a musical channel. If you change one thing in your music every day, then you're always opening up new doors. I've always inspired myself. . . on the guitar and that's why I'm still playing after all these years. Most people will, you know, go to where a DJ is. There (are) a lot of people (who) would just rather go there and be just, you know, be lulled into some kind of state of mind by a TV set or by canned music. There's a human element that's going to be lost. That's what "Bar Code" is about.
Where do you play in the area? We're just working dogs out there. When we do our original stuff we kind of want to do that stuff we really, really like instead of playing "Mustang Sally" for the people. The people (who) like (our music) are usually older, but we're finding out that the younger kids are really getting grips on it because their parents had listened to that kind of music. We have an extensive local schedule. We play the Main Street Tower down in Maryland. We've found that Maryland is an interesting place to play. People are spirited. We do a Wednesday night jam at a place called River Street Café down in Marietta. That's kind of a small, acoustic type thing. We're always playing Shank's (Tavern) for the blues (and) we play a lot at the Red Lion Tavern.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF
If you go
Bob Noble and the Blue Voodoo have an electric blues open mike tonight at Shank's Tavern, Front and Water streets, Marietta. For details, call 426-1205 visit www.shankstavern.com.
The group performs Saturday at Victor's Italian Restaurant, 554 S. Ogontz St., York. For details, call 854-7958 or visit www.victorsofyork.com.
On the Web
For details about the band, visit www.bobnobleband.com.
To listen to an interview, visit www.flipsidepa.com.
To read more meet-the-artist interviews, visit www.flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory.