Stolt, Roine - Wall Street Voodoo

Year of Release: 2005
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 233
Format: CD
Total Time: 115:06:00

When guitarist Roine Stolt released his solo album Fantasia towards the end of the seventies, he was still searching for his own identity. Having been a member of well-known Swedish prog act Kaipa, he launched his own band Fantasia, who flirted with all kinds of music in particular folky patches. Roine had to wait until 1994 when he released the album The Flower King before finally reaching what he was aiming at. Out of this album the band The Flower Kings was born and we all know where that has lead us over the years! By using both Jaime Salazar as well as Ulf Wallander, who both played on the Fantasia album, Stolt's 1998 solo effort Hydrophenia still pretty much contained the Flower Kings trademark. So although trying to create a world of its own, previous Roine Stolt solo efforts still had a strong link with Flower Kings, as if he was tied to the hip with his band. Bearing in mind the many side projects Roine has been involved in over the years, of course I was reasonably interested to hear what his new solo venture would sound like. To make it even more interesting, the album is a double CD. Now we all know that Roine has masses of musical ideas, but to release a double album in the CD format (that's almost a quadruple vinyl album!) and remain interesting throughout is a massive task!

What strikes me is the fact that Roine doesn't go for the obvious Flower Kings related release here. In fact there's a decent amount of tasty blues to be found all over the place. The long opening piece "The Observer" for some strange reason makes me think of Robin Trower, although sound wise it's still a long way off from being a copy. "Head Above Water" has this great magic touch, an ingenius lick that could make it a strong contender for daytime radio when issued in edited form. There's some tasty slide guitar in the semi-acoustic "Dirt," which in the middle changes the atmosphere completely. "Everyone Wants To Rule The World" might just be the "single" Transatlantic never produced! At times you hear the jamband tradition of bands such as Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers shine through the compositions. Take the weird sounding "Spirit Of The Rebel," which once again is the perfect platform for Roine's many solo guitar ventures. Personally I love the laidback nature of the bluesy "Dog With A Million Bones," which in the distance also contains kind of a hidden reggae atmosphere. This really is like taking the timecapsule right back into the seventies, flares 'n' all. From the sixteen brand new songs on this package no doubt "Sex Kills" is the most commercial of the lot, especially because of the great melody in the chorus. Needless to say there's plenty of soloing going on as well here, including the superb drumming of new found wonderboy Marcus Lilliequist, so for sure this track will be featured on a lot of prog related radio stations around the globe. For sure it'll be on mine (On The Rocks in case you forgot!).

The opening track on disc two, "The Unwanted" is a playground to experiment with different sounds and effects. Not only the guitar gets different sounds submitted, also Roine's voice is "treated." As the song evolves, some Steve Howe-type slide guitar pops up, which strangely enough gets the company of a brass section. It's wah-wah time when the funky "Everybody Is Trying To Sell You Something" hits your speakers. Not really Johnny Guitar Watson, but nevertheless an admirable effort into tackling new territory, effortlessly switching towards Zappa-esque jazzy sidesteps (isn't that Stevie Wonder's electric piano from his "Superstition" era in the background?). Including the sound of Formula One cars wizzing by, "Hotrod" is indeed a speedy track with a lot of emphasis on the percussive nature of the song, which of course means a lot of input from Hasse Bruniusson (definitely one to listen to with headphones!). The final track "People That Have The Power To Shape The Future" sums up what this entire collection of new songs is all about. Again the seventies feel is very much present with keyboards playing a secondary role as opposed to the use of the guitar. Although melodies are conceived, there's plenty of room to improvise and for solos to fully shine! The fun element even introduces the vocoder almost hidden away in the arrangement (Cher eat your heart out!). It's the kind of song which transcends the "joie de vivre" from the musicians perfectly.

The main mystery that surrounds Wall Street Voodoo is the presence of guest musicians by the names of Gonzo Geffen, Slim Pothead and Victor Woof which to my ears and knowledge could well be Daniel Gildenl?w, Tomas Bodin and Jonas Reingold but as Roine wants this solo album to stay as far away from Flower Kings. has decided to give them a pseudonym. To enhance it all, Roine even has invented this story that the real identity of these musicians can not be revealed because of contractual reasons. Bearing in mind the weird names on the Swedish Family release ? In other words Wall Street Voodoo is a fantastic Roine Stolt album NOT by the Flower Kings (if you believe this you'll believe anything!). Roine himself says: "I started with a blues album which gradually became a 'post-psychedelic blues' album, and then finally just a music album." Let us add the word "GREAT" to "finally just a GREAT music album," which sounds perfect with the smell of a Fender amp, which has been running for a while, in your nostrils!

Disc One: The Observer (11:05) / Head Above Water (5:25) / Dirt (8:15) / Everyone Wants To Rule The World (4:05) / Spirit Of The Rebel (6:10) / Unforgiven (3:) / Dog With A Million Bones (8:10) / Sex Kills (7:20) / Outcast (7:50)

Disc Two: The Unwanted (9:) / Remember (6:55) / It:s All About Money (8:05) / Everybody Is Trying To Sell You Something (6:55) / Hotrod (The Atomic Wrestler) (9:10) / Mercy (2:40) / People That Have The Power To Shape The Future (11:05)

Roine Stolt - vocals, electric and acoustic guitar
Hasse Bruniusson - percussion
Gonzo Geffen - congas, percussion
Marcus Liliequist - drums
Neal Morse - lead vocals, Hammond
Slim Pothead - Wurlitzer piano, mini-Moog, Hammond

Kaipa - Kaipa (1975/1993)
Kaipa - Inget Nytt Under Solen (1976/1993)
Fantasia (1979/1992)
The Lonely Heartbeat (1989)
Kaipa - Stockholm Symfonie (Japanese bootleg) (1993)
The Flower King (1994/2001)
Behind The Walls (LP) (1995)
The Flower Kings - Back In The World Of Adventures (1995)
The Flower Kings - Retropolis (1996)
The Flower Kings - Stardust We Are (1997/2000)
The Flower Kings - Scanning The Greenhouse (comp) (1998)
The Flower Kings - Edition Limit?e Quebec (only 700 copies!) (1998)
The Flower Kings - Flower Power (1999)
The Flower Kings - TFK fanclub disc (2000) (free CD exclusive to fanclub members only)
The Flower Kings - Alive On Planet Earth (2000)
The Flower Kings - Space Revolver (2000)
The Flower Kings - Space Revolver Special Edition (2CD set) (2000)
The Flower Kings - The Rainmaker (2001)
The Flower Kings - The Rainmaker - Special Edition (2001)
The Flower Kings - Unfold The Future (2002)
The Flower Kings - Live In New York: Official Bootleg (2002)
The Flower Kings - Fan Club CD 2002 (2002)
Kaipa - Notes From The Past (2002)
Hydrophonia (2002)
Kaipa - Keyholder (2003)
The Flower Kings - Fan Club CD 2004 (2004)
The Flower Kings - Adam & Eve (2004)
The Flower Kings - BetchaWannaDanceStoopid (2004)
Kaipa - Mindrevolution (2005)
Kaipa - The Decca Years 1975-1978 (5CD set) (2005)
Wall Street Voodoo (2005)
The Flower Kings - Harvest (2005)
The Flower Kings - Paradox Hotel (2006)
The Flower Kings - The Road Back Home (2007)
The Flower Kings - The Sum Of No Evil (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (Special Edition) (2007)

The Flower Kings - Meet The Flower Kings - Live Recording (DVD) (2003)
The Flower Kings - Instant Delivery (2DVD) (2006)
The Flower Kings - Instant Delivery - Limited Edition (2CD/2DVD) (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: November 13th 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

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Language: english


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