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Voodoo Woman - Music for Mods: Soul & Ska Sounds from the Sixties

Laurel Aitken

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Album Review

If you’re looking for the boisterous sound of ska, move along because as the subtitle “Music for Mods” might suggest, this compilation focuses on the R&B and rocksteady side of Laurel Aitken. Voodoo Woman prefers the man’s slower, more soulful material, much of it rare on CD and about half of it coming from 1966 while the rest comes from the surrounding years. As the liner notes point out, Aitken wasn’t really recording “Music for Mods” as much as bringing the “swinging R&B groove” to “British West Indians,” including his island-flavored covers of songs from the Stax label's catalog plus plenty of selections from the world of blues. Still, the UK kids fell hard for this material and the Pressure Drop label’s concept is just as sound as it is rarely explored. Newcomers should look elsewhere since this one is for the veteran fans who will no doubt appreciate the thick liner notes, the better than expected sound quality, and the overall effort.

Biography

Born: 22 April 1927 in Havana, Cuba

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Known as "the Godfather of Ska," Laurel Aitken was Jamaica's first real recording star. He was a pioneer in many other respects as well: he was one of the first artists ever to release a ska record, the first to work at promoting his music in the U.K., and one of the first to record for the seminal Island label, itself a major force in the international popularity of Jamaican music. Cutting his teeth on the sort of jump blues and boogie shuffles popular during the early days of American R&B,...
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Voodoo Woman - Music for Mods: Soul & Ska Sounds from the Sixties, Laurel Aitken
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