Muscle Shoals, AL
A little house, a little blues, a little funk, a little rock, and a whole lot of soul blast through BoomBox.
Since first emerging in 2004, founder, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Zion Rock Godchaux has been quietly seasoning this simmering recipe to perfection. However, it reaches a boiling point on his forthcoming 2018 fifth album, Western Voodoo [Heart of Gold Records].
At the same time, the Muscle Shoals, AL native stays true to what attracted countless fans in the first place.
“I remain open to anything you would hear coming out of a boombox,” he explains. “There are a lot of different vibes and angles, but it still adheres to a universal rhythm. This new record is the most musical and varied, yet it’s tightly wound in respect to that syncopation. There are only a few rules. It should be heavy groove. It should make you want to move. Overall, I’ve further developed the sound people are used to.”
Following up 2016’s fan favorite Bits & Pieces, the artist found himself at something of a crossroads. Longtime collaborator Russ Randolph amicably parted ways with the band at the end of the year. For the first time, Godchaux would solely produce the bulk of a BoomBox record by himself inside of his new studio, while DJ Harry joined on tour in January 2017. Another first, he even performed live bass on the album, opening up the creative palette dramatically.
“I’ve learned more about engineering and the technical aspects of recording. It’s been a time of soul searching. I can follow any Ideas that I want to. So there’s a lot more organic instrumentation. I’m just trying to develop more sonic real.” Appropriately, he dubs the sound of Western Voodoo, “Dirty Disco Blues.” Within that realm, Godchaux fuses a funky strut with electronic energy and danceable swagger powerful enough to cast a spell of its own.
“You hear about different forms of magic around the world,” he goes on. “The West, in general, has its own voodoo influenced by the blues. That’s what shaped me as a musician growing up in this country. It’s hard to put in the words, but you know it when you hear it.”
You hear it in everything that BoomBox has done thus far. Over the course of four albums, the group has become a streaming favorite with numerous tracks cracking a million plays on Spotify. Moreover, they’ve made audiences groove everywhere from Electric Forest and Hangout Music Festival to High Sierra Music Festival. To welcome DJ Harry into the fold, they performed 75 shows in 2017, with that number expected to grow in 2018.
“Harry picked up everything in a really short amount of time,” he explains. “The parties are just as hot, if not hotter. The music is getting tighter. He stepped in and kept the plane in the air.”
In the end, the new music kicks off the brightest and boldest chapter yet for Godchaux. “Our best side is somewhat medicinal,” he leaves off. “All of the rhythms, melodies, and frequencies add up to these healing properties. I hope people feel rejuvenated and re-focused on some level when they hear us. That’s Western Voodoo.”