“Jo Carley and The Old Dry Skulls combine the voodoo rhythms of 1930’s ska and the blues with old-timey vaudeville cabaret. Music that makes people wanna shake their bones!”

Clearly influenced by fellow Londoners and majestic beat combo The Urban Voodoo Machine all be it with far fewer members and led by the wonderful Jo Carley who clearly walks it like she talks. The album kicks off with the rather endearing vaudeville of ‘Little Limbs Of Satan’ the sound is stripped back and sparse and uncluttered but Jo and the gang ham it up perfectly (especially in these current times).


I’ll take Jo’s word for it that the sound is inspired from the 30s. But how would I know.  I do like the arrangement and guitar picking on ‘The Devil’  its intriguingly stripped down and my favourite thus far. If making deals with old nick dishes up a penchant for kicking back and turning your hand to a musical genre that is fairly unique then go for it.  The arrangments are decent and the use of the reverb-laden guitar is old school rock and roll for sure and mixed with the other traditional instruments is cool and the rockabilly of ‘She Got Him’ is more contemporary, well compared to the 1930’s it is.  Its voodootastic for sure.

‘Voodoo Bones and Vaudeville Blues’ was recorded during the lockdown in the band’s shack of a house on the East Coast of England. When the pandemic hit, they threw out the couch and the TV, turning their living room into a recording studio, laying down twelve new songs using only old school techniques and a few good microphones. To be fair they’ve captured the instruments really well and when they’re cooking it sounds great however I’m not a fan of the more piraty elements but that’s a minor gripe.

The bands unique sound and the quality of the recording is excellent. I guess one should listen to this with not modern ears but ones from a bygone world. The attempts to mix up so many genres is admirable and it doesn’t always work for me but when it does its really good. Be it Voodoo or Black Magic I like it when bands try something different and sound authentic and good at what they are doing. Old Blues (Under Your Spell), Old Country (Dead But He won’t Lay Down), Skiffle, Piraty shanty vibes, Calypso and Rock n Roll its all here if you want it. 


Buy Here