BoomBox practicing ‘Western Voodoo’ at Belly Up Aspen
IF YOU GO …
Where: Belly Up Aspen
When: Friday, June 1, 9 p.m.
How much: $35/general admission; $45/reserved seating
Tickets: Belly Up box office; http://www.bellyupaspen.com
The electro-rock duo BoomBox debuted its new lineup for local fans at Belly Up last summer — with founder and songwriter Zion Rock Godchaux bringing new partner DJ Harry along for the first time.
A year later they’re back at the music club with new music to share from the forthcoming fifth BoomBox album, “Western Voodoo.”
“This new record is the most musical and varied, yet it’s tightly wound in respect to that syncopation,” Godchaux said. “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.”
BoomBox headlines Belly Up on Friday, June 1, and Red Rocks Ampitheatre the following night.
The original pairing of Godchaux and Russ Randolph split after a 2016 New Year’s Eve concert at the Gothic Theatre in Denver. Colorado is home to some of the Alabama-based band’s most fervent and loyal fans and has been a touchstone for BoomBox since its inception in 2004.
Godchaux never considered ending the BoomBox project when Randolph left, he told me during last summer’s swing through Aspen.
“Quite the contrary, I’m ready to make — and am making — a lot of music these days for BoomBox,” Godchaux said. “We need to be releasing lots of music. That’s the reason Russ and I went our separate ways.”
Randolph left the band, in part, to focus on producing other project locally in and around Muscle Shoals. Godchaux, meanwhile, wanted BoomBox to record and release music more actively than it had been and break the band internationally.
“BoomBox needs our full attention,” he explains.
Godchaux has been feeding fans a steady stream of new BoomBox tracks over the past year, with its chilled-out psychadelia and funky house music intact on songs like “Laid Back and Loaded” and “Restless Too.”
“That’s pretty much my mode right now: to record and make as much music as I can in my studio at home,” Godchaux said.
DJ Harry has helped Godchaux revitalize some older BoomBox songs and shape the new ones in live performance.
“Harry brings a new energy to the show — he’s an amazing DJ and an excellent musician,” Godchaux says.
After years of performing clad in the signature BoomBox feather boas, the duo began dialing back some of its familiar stage aesthetic last year (“The stage gets hot up there”) to instead focus on the music and creating the laid-back party vibe that connected with audiences immediately in Colorado and made BoomBox a regular at Belly Up over the past decade.
“Our music is about release and it’s supposed to be healing and relaxing and freeing — very disarming by nature,” he said. “Ultimately, it’s a universal sound. Something anybody can cue into.”
Playing Belly Up the night before a big Red Rocks show is an ideal plan, according to Godchaux: “To be able to relax the night before Red Rocks, and just do what we do and get loose and have a good night, it’s sweet and it’s necessary.”