Voodelic, whose very name is a head-on collision, would be easy to describe as a collision of South and North and, in exactly the same proportion, of older and younger. The older contingent, gutsy singer and lyricist Little Earl Lundy and master keyboardist Ross Rice, came here from the South, carrying all the authentic grit, soul sophistication, blues and grease that implies. The younger rhythm section – bassist Colin Almquist and brothers Dan and Eric Cartwright on drums and guitar, respectively – are northern Ulster County kids raised on alt/rock and metal. They bring the huge hard-rock low end and hypertight riffage to Voodelic’s multi-genre gumbo.
The only problem with that description is that the older guys are looking and sounding mighty spry these days, the younger cats aren’t all that young anymore and Voodelic’s sound has evolved into a fully coherent and organic take on high-drama funk/rock, not a stylistic fusion that “looks good on paper.” When Eric Cartwright rips a squealing solo right out of an ‘80s glam/metal tune over a groove that sounds like Little Feat or the Meters played by Helmet or Candiria, nobody’s apologizing for anything. It’s all in there, and they mean every bit of it.
This is one high-impact live band. Rice and Lundy, the group’s naturally uninhibited and extroverted performers, connect with each other in a way that can only be described as rousing and brimstone-spiritual. Lundy’s words chase contemporary targets with Biblical methods, politicized and gospelized in equal measure. The rapport between Rice and Lundy seems straight out of a big tent revival, and Rice – as I assume everyone in the Hudson Valley knows by now – is a stone-cold major talent. Meanwhile, snappy, syncopated, big-bottom grooves anchor the soaring drama of the harmonies and Rice’s organ, a blend of sternum-punishing precision, ethereal grace and Lundy’s articulate, righteous-soul rage. It’s not the formula that makes it badass; it’s the dudes.
Voodelic has became a must-see regional act, so go must-see them at the Bearsville Theater on Friday, March 22. The show starts at 9 p.m. and admission costs $10. For more information, call (845) 679-4406 or visit https://bearsvilletheater.com. The Bearsville Theater is located at 291 Tinker Street in Woodstock. For more on Voodelic, check out https://voodelic.bandcamp.com.