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Vintage Voodoo: Making musical magic

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The band has been playing its brand or Rock 'N Roll for several years. Last week, this band from Shelbyville opened for David Allen Coe.

By Todd Martin

The name Vintage Voodoo invokes old-world charm in New Orleans, back alleys and dark streets.

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But the Shelbyville-based band - consisting of guitarist Michael Whisman, lead singer Rick Willard, drummer Patrick Jacobs, guitarist Bobby Hardaway and bassist Greg Viergutz, the only member not from Shelbyville - said that's not quite the case.

"Vintage Magic just didn't sound right. There's really nothing voodoo about us, but it's vintage because we're all old," Whisman said laughing.

The band, which has members that have been in and around the music game for a couple decades or more, wants to bring Rock 'N' Roll back to its classic sound of the 1970s and early '80s.

"Music has lost that magic it once had when musicians really knew how to play their instruments," Whisman said. "There's a lot of banging going on out there, but there's not a lot of music."

Added Hardaway, "There's no good music out there, and we just want to fix that."

And Whisman: "We're putting some of that finesse, some of that soul, back into the music."

With influences ranging from '70s rock stalwarts Bad Company, Kiss, Lynard Skynard and Eric Clapton to more free flowing bands like the Allman Brothers, Vintage Voodoo's eclectic mix of guitar-driven songs ring out like a time warp of music built on the experience of living the era.

Mix in that southern feel, and it's no wonder the band was called up to open for country-outlaw legend David Allen Coe on Friday at the Rustic Frog in New Albany.

Playing one of their biggest shows in the area, Whisman said it was a great night.

"We felt really good about it," Whisman said of Friday's show. "It went really well, and we got an excellent crowd response."

The show was a sellout, he said, bringing in about 3,000 fans.

"It was pretty cool. Confederate Railroad [Coe's former backing band] was there to take in the show, and there were a couple promoters there, one from Nashville and one from Bowling Green, that we hooked up with," Whisman said.

"We feel very fortunate to get the opportunity to do that show. David Allen Coe was in rare form. He put on a great show," Whisman said.

And it sounds like Coe wasn't the only one that left the crowd wanting more.

Tia Fleitz, a freelance music writer, noted that the band "rocked the stage," during the show.

Rustic Frog Manager Michael Pound said Vintage Voodoo stole the show.

"The concert went off great," he said. "Vintage Voodoo put their best foot forward and rocked the house. David Allen Coe should be proud to have closed such a great show."

With a big turnout on a successful local show, the band hopes this turns into more gigs in the surrounding area.

"We've played a lot of shows in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, but this one was one of the biggest," Whisman said. "But we'd love to play more around here. There just doesn't seem to be the venues like there are in the other places."

The band is putting the finishing touches on its second album, which they're recording in Shelbyville at their own studio.

"We've got our own engineer and vocal booth here," Whisman said. "We've talked to some labels, one courted us pretty seriously, but it just didn't work out."

Once the album is finished, Vintage Voodoo plans to continue playing and having fun.

"We just enjoy getting together and playing," Willard said. "We'll keep doing that as long as we can."

Added Whisman: "And if we can get some publicity and some success, we'll see how far we can go."

For more information on the band, visit www.VintageVoodooRocks.com and listen to some music or find them on facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/Winagevoodoo.