Ron Burke & Alittle Voodoo
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Ron Burke & Alittle Voodoo

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Band Blues Alternative


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"Ron Burke and Alittle Voodoo"

Calgary-based blues band, Alittle Voodoo, who has proven to deliver some of the best blues guitar music to its ever-growing fan base throughout Canada since 1992, played the Stetson Pub last Friday night and the Parkland Summer Festival on Saturday. Ron Burke spearheads the band and was recently inducted into Calgary Blues Music Hall of Fame as “Guitar Player of the Year 2010.” With the new release of the much-awaited cd Love, Lies and Could Be’s, it’s apparent Ron Burke and Alittle Voodoo are evolving artists moving fearlessly into a new zone.

Just back from a tour up to Peace River, Friday night’s performance at the Stetson Pub (10002 Mcleod Trail S) was played to a half-filled house, but lacked no musical quality or audience enthusiasm as intermittent "Hey, Ron! ....we love you!" could be heard throughout the evening. A tight connection was also evident between, Ron Burke, who also takes care of the vocals, Rob Vulic on drums, Russell Broom (who has toured with Jan Arden for more than a decade) and bassist Tom Knowles (who is a legend in his own right with a 2010 repeat of his 2009 winning as “Bass Player of the Year”). Tom has shared the stage with Tom Jones and Jimmy Page. The band itself has played with some of the very best blues/rock artists known: ”Colin James, the late Jeff Healey, The Headstones, Paul Rodgers, Long John Baldry, David Gogo, Omar and the Howlers, Bo Diddley and a host of others.” ( The band pumped out some of their well-known pleasers like “Black Cat Moan” and “Have You Ever Seen” then threw in a few other well-knowns like “Ruby,” “Your Eyes” and “Like a Rolling Stone” before the music died down around closing time.
If you’ve never seen them play, their sounds have been likened to Steve Earl, Neil Young, The Hip and John Cougar (according to May-Lee, who was also in the audience). Sheila and Ike, who had dinner at Wellington’s across from the Stetson Friday, popped in to see the band after someone at the restaurant informed them Alittle Voodoo was playing; the results of the music created gooseflesh for Sheila, who was surprised the 250 seats weren’t full and now vows to follow the band more closely.

Alittle Voodoo played again on Saturday at the Parkland Summer Festival where large crowds attending the annual music and art festival pooled in the beer tent to listen to the band play some of their familiar tunes as well as introduce several of their new tunes, such as “Pretty Little House” (a catchy tune you’ll find yourself humming throughout the day and to which Tom Knowles has added his vocals) and “Shiny Man” (where Ron’s subtle twang is most evident). The song repertoire at both events was virtually the same, but the band seemed to have had a little more fun performing to the much larger crowd of festival goers in the beer tent whose liquid energy was evident, even though the dance floor was fuller at the Stetson the previous night. All members had equal opportunities to grandstand their remarkable skills while spreading a sense of awe and pleasure throughout the appreciative crowds, spreading a pandemic happiness that is so much a part of their presentation. They even shared some private laughs and smiles on stage amongst themselves.
A study of the new cd, Love, Lies and Could Be’s, presents a much more pensive compilation of efforts in contrast to their earlier self-titled cd; Ron’s vocals are more syrupy in the new collection (although he proved on the weekend he can still roar out the ranges as accurate and accomplished as ever), and the style of the new songs lean arguably closer to country than blues. The entire cd is quite mellow and soothing and may be missing at least a couple more upbeat tunes to spice up the mood, but perhaps that’s precisely the effect sought. As Alittle Voodoo fans compare this new work to the more familiar ones where Ron’s voice can be compared to the strains of David Wilcox and the tunes carry much more edge and bluesy conviction, with strong elements of rock, the band has much to look forward to in the months ahead as their cd unfolds to the world.

At the Parkland Summer Festival, Leslie and Neil, Parkland residents, long-time friends and loyal fans of Ron, agreed that being witness to an artist as he reinvents himself through the walks of life and has the capacity to surprise and be unpredictable can only be a solid testament to the foundations of a stellar artist who is not afraid to step out of the shadows of comfort and security. Sharing the fruits of transition and change emits a strength and confidence that too few artists are fearful of and qualities that musical listeners value greatly; similar to what Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo has accomplished with their latest cd The Things We’ve Left Behind.

Alittle Voodoo will be returning to the Stetson this Friday night and during the Calgary Stampede. Be sure to check out a band that has placed Calgary on the map of quality blues, rock and emerging country. Alittle Voodoo is a band who's serious about their music, its quality and its positioning. They've become a mainstay in Canadian music and show no indication of fading into any sunset any time soon.

You can sample Love Lies and Could-Be's tracks and purchase the cd or iTunes downloads here: or purchase the cd at


Alittle Voodoo- Live from Banff
Love Lies and Could Be’s



In late 1992, Alittle Voodoo began playing all over western Canada. By 1993 they recorded their first live CD over three rockin' nights in Banff's Legendary club the Rose and Crown. In 1994, Alit- tle Voodoo began touring with blues/rock acts: Colin James the late Jeff Healey, The Head- stones, Paul Rodgers, Long John Baldry, David Gogo, Omar and the Howlers, Bo Diddley and a host of others. Alittle Voodoo is led by frontman and guitar mauler, Ron Burke. Lik- ened to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Johnny Winters, and a few others. Ron’s barrelhouse vocals partnered with his steamroller guitar playing won’t let you believe you are hearing a 3 piece band. In 1994, the band was recognized with Best Band of the Year, with Ron also taking the honours as Best Male Vocalist and Best Guitar Player at the CJ92 awards.
Bassist Tom Knowles who began playing with the late, great Long Baldry also shared the stage with other music legends from Jimmy Page, Tom Jones, Crowbar, Kathi McDonald, to jamming with Blue Cheer.
Rob Vulic fills out the trio on drums. Russell Broom and Mark Jackson are the rotating fourth members of the band.
Alittle Voodoo tore down the house in 2006 as the opening act in Calgary for the late Bo Diddley, and backed him as his band. After a hiatus in the music scene- Ron Burke and Alittle Voodoo have re-emerged with a new and first studio album “ Love Lies and Could Be’s”. Calgary great Russell Broom, best known as producer and guitar player, collaborated with Ron on the al-bum as producer and co-writer on a number of the songs. Ron was recently inducted into the 2010 Calgary Blues Music Hall of Fame as GUITAR PLAYER of the Year and bassist Tom Knowles repeated his 2009 win with the 2010 honour as BASS PLAYER of the Year.