Track of the Week: “Voodoo Spell” by the Michael Burks

Track of the WeekMy wife Pam is a newspaper reporter for The Capital in Annapolis. Being married to a journalist has its pluses and minuses.

Let’s start with the minuses:

  1. I recycle more newspaper than anyone on the planet. Unless it’s paper mache night at the Wood household, in which case we recycle more folk art than anyone on the planet. Or crab night, in which case we recycle more place mats than anyone on the planet.
  2. We have one television. Sometimes, Pam watches city council meetings on that TV set. My eyes bleed a bit every time that happens.
  3. “Fun” happy hours with Pam’s reporter friends aren’t fun at all. Rather, they are markedly unfun. They are like a behind-the-scenes episode of Meet the Press.

Here are the pluses:

  1. With all of the old newspapers laying around, I’m never without kindling for my next campfire.
  2. I never actually need to read a newspaper or watch the TV news because Pam is my sole news source. Everything I know about current events I get from her. She’s like my personal news service.
  3. Pam loves her job. I’m thankful to be married to a passionate woman who comes home from work everyday fulfilled. She’s happy and that makes me happy.
  4. I be havin’ awesome grammars and spellin’ aptidudinal skills wit’ her help.
    And finally, the advantage to being married to a journalist that is most relevant to this article is:
  5. She occasionally brings home press kit leftovers like Michael Burks’ Make it Rain album. The final cut on the album is “Voodoo Spell.” Click on the screen capture below to listen to the song on MySpace.

I absolutely love the guitar tone in this song. Like Burks’ voice, it is raw and powerful. “Voodoo Spell” is a great example of what a well-recorded electric guitar can sound like.

It is also rare to hear a highly distorted guitar sound in a solo performance without the rest of the band. That kind of showcasing is traditionally left to acoustic guitars.

For more information about me and the guitar lessons that I give in and around Baltimore, visit

2 responses to “Track of the Week: “Voodoo Spell” by the Michael Burks

  1. I want to start this post by thanking you and Pam, for making our vacation in Ocean City one of our very best by dropping in for the day! I’m sure you know that there’s nothing better for us than to have the whole crew together for some R & R! By the way, we found the money you left on the sly….maybe one day, you’ll let us pay for something! Already working on a new method of ensuring that happens! As for the Michael Burks’ track, as you well know, that CD has gotten a lot of rotation around here ever since you introduced it to me more than a couple of years ago. The track “Voodoo Spell” was one of my favorites, from the first listen. As a critical listener, through a decent playback system, this song really captures the sound of the guitar as faithfully as anything I’ve heard since, and it sounds as if someone is playing through a guitar amp right in your room. It’s a real treat for me to be able to close my eyes and actually feel as if I’m listening to you playing through your “Blues Junior” 5 feet away! Take my word for it… it don’t get much better than this sonically. A real treat, especially in these days of highly compressed music reproduction. I would encourage anyone to track this CD down, and give it a spin. It’s a real treat, and when the “Voodoo Spell” track cues up, close your eyes and almost as if by magic, you’ll experience a living, breathing guitarist, play through an amp right there in the room with you!
    A real treat!
    As always, great blog!

    • Pam and I were happy to be there. It was a fun day for us. I’m glad you liked the blog. You’re right, this song was recorded really well. I’m pretty sure the amp was a British amp of some sort, perhaps a Marshall. My Blues Junior doesn’t have that much gain, that’s for sure.

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