Donna Dunne & The Mystery Men “Voodoo”
Donna Dunne is described as a retro-revamped Americana styled artist from Dublin. That might remind you of the last (only?!?) really famous female rockabilly artist from Ireland. Given that Ms May appears to have abandoned her rockabilly style on her latest album, the timing of this release from Donna could be perfect.
The title track, “Voodoo” opens up the album and as you’d hope it’s a blend of rockabilly with a more seductive New Orleans style. Indeed, that mix of rock n roll backbeat but with a smoother overall sound is repeated on songs like “Shame” and “Cinderella (Throw That Brick Again)”.
That’s not to say the band isn’t able to rock out a bit. Although, it’s with a sense of subtlety that not all bands manage. So on “Moonbird” you get an almost surf rock vibe and there is a flamenco feel to “Mystery Men” and “Man Without Command”. There is also a generally darker element to some of the songs, indeed the organ on “Restless Nights” gives it an almost Doors like feel.
A lot of credit has to go to Donna’s vocals. They’re smooth and seductive, to the extent there is a real purr to songs like “Lovespell”. Together with its swinging back beat it makes for a really enticing song. Then on “Angel Of Music” there is also an almost sense of menace to the way the words are sung.
The use of terms like rock n roll, seductive, swing and menace should be enough to make you know if this is an album for you or not. It’s certainly in the rockabilly genre but not of a harsh and basic style. Instead, it’s an album to make you feel like you’ve been on an exotic musical journey.