Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Canadian Voodoo...The Story of Deja Voodoo...Show # 245

In 1981, Tony Dewald and Gerard Van Herk formed the group known as Deja Voodoo in Montreal, Canada. Influenced by Rockabilly, Punk, Garage Rock, Blues and bands such as Link Wray and The Cramps, Deja Voodoo came off sounding different than most bands. Using 50's horror imagery (like The Misfits have done), Deja Voodoo helped to create a new genre that was known as Sludge-a-billy. Their music was primal and dirty, Tony Dewald would be the drummer and Gerard Van Herk would cover guitars and vocals. There would be no bass player. Deja Voodoo can be seen as Canada's answer to The Cramps.

In the early 80s, numerous bands were popping up all over Montreal, in turn making it difficult for Deja Voodoo to find a label. While they were popular amongst the Montreal communities, they decided to form their own label in 1983 called Og Records. Deja Voodoo released their first album Gumbo on Og Records in 1983; It was released on cassette only. The album sold relatively well by independent record standards, but it did not find mainstream success. The band continued to release their own albums and other bands on their label. In 1984, Cemetery was released. Being the bands third album it sold well in Canada and in parts of the US and Europe; It was also the bands first album to be released on vinyl. Og Records would release a total of twenty nine albums in its seven year run. The label also released a series of compilation albums featuring Montreal artists such as The Gruesomes. There were five volumes of the It Came From Canada series.

Deja Voodoo toured in parts of Canada and Europe once Og Records started doing well. They toured places such as Greece, Finland and Scandinavia. This was seen as being unheard of at the time. For an underground Canadian band to reach audiences in Europe this was a great achievement. As a result they built cult followings. They started putting on special outdoor events such as "Voodoo BBQ's". These were held mainly in Montreal and drew in large crowds. The last Voodoo BBQ was in 2008.

Despite doing relatively well in their musical aspirations, Tony and Gerard split up Deja Voodoo in 1990. They pursued other careers. Gerard Van Herk became a Linguistics professor and Tony Dewald opened his own brewery on the West Coast. While Deja Voodoo did not achieve mainstream success, they were a well known one of a kind Canadian band that helped define a genre known as Sludge-a-billy. More info can be found on their Myspace Page.

Play List:

1. The Golden Hands Before God - The Ladder
2. Bob Dylan and the Band - Odds & Ends
3. The Troggs - I Can't Control Myself
4. The Count Bishops - Teenage Letter
5. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Going Going Gone (Time Version)
6. Bad Brains - Sailin' On
7. The Heartbeeps - My Flash On You
8. The Charms - Action
9. The Haunted - Eight Hour Day
10. The Gruesomes - Leave My Kitten Alone
11. The Replacements - Takin' A Ride
12. The Replacements - I Will Dare
13. The Ettes - I Get Mine
14. Compulsive Gamblers - X-Ray Eyes
15. Rolling Stones - Complicated
16. The Leather Uppers - Say It In French
17. Young Rival - Poisonous Moves
18. Deja Voodoo - Shoobedy Hey
19. Deja Voodoo - My Girlfriend
20. The Cramps - She Said
21. Queens of The Stone Age - Battery Acid
22. The Locust Have No King - Goodman On A Strange Horse
23. Gun Club - She's Like Heroin To Me
24. The Stooges - Not Right
25. The Howlies - Sea Level
26. Black Lips - Drugs
27. The Collectors - We Can Make It
28. Libertines - I Get Along

To download this week's show visit the CJAM archives and select the files 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM on April, 21st 2009.

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