Voodoo… “One for All and All for One!”
By: Rachel Rocks
Every cover story is an adventure and Voodoo’s is no different. I was given the address to their practice space below Dillsburg. I’m driving and the road starts getting more and more desolate as I go, then I come to a cross roads and the GPS says, “You have arrived”… I was about ready to start calling the guys, but instead I decided to just roll down my window and listen, sure enough I found the hard rockin’ guys of Voodoo without a problem. They were practicing in Joel’s nice, big body shop, which really amplified their already rockin’ sound.
Voodoo has been around technically since 2000 but has since unraveled and re-raveled a few times to get to their current line up. The only original member is Jay Acri. It took patience and persistence, but Jay recruited everyone one piece at a time. The first recruit was Lonnie Eckert on drums. Lonnie was a long time friend of Jay’s and Jay desperately needed a drummer so he called Lonnie to fill in. Lonnie only had three hours of practice of the Voodoo music before he played his first show, but he’s been playing with them ever since.
Joel Turnbaugh was the next piece to the puzzle. I found out that Jay, Lonnie, and Joel used to be in a band together years ago called Nissel Lane, so when they were looking for a vocalist they thought why not try and find Joel and see if he’s ready to rock the stage again. After 12 years of not living the band life it didn’t take too much convincing for Joel to pick up the mic again. Joel said he only came back because of the camaraderie the three of them had together in their previous band. They are family and family sticks together.
They lucked upon Steve Junkins one night when he was filling in for LeadFoot. They saw Steve playing with all of his energy and amazing guitar licks and they knew they needed him to complete their newest Voodoo line-up. Steve brought some new, much needed life back to the band. He’s a very hard worker and doesn’t let the guys slack off.
For years Voodoo was known as being a Godsmack Tribute Band. They know that tribute bands only have so much shelf-life, so now they are adding in more songs and more experiences. They can still cover pretty much any Godsmack song their fans want to hear, but they will also be moving forward to even bigger and better songs.
When you see Voodoo’s promotion and advertisements you usually see skulls, fire, and stuff that gives you an angry/evil feel, but these guys are quite the opposite. They do play hard rock music and they have plenty of aggression on the stage, but they also know how to have fun. One thing I can guarantee you will feel from these guys is energy! Their stage presence is unlike any other band in the area.
Joel, their lead singer, was described by his bandmates as everything from eclectic to spastic, but I believe the best word is animated. I have so much fun taking pictures of Joel singing. He is all over the stage moving, jumping, kneeling, I mean EVERYWHERE! But one thing for sure is he can sing! I don’t know he can possibly hit some of the notes he does. Joel is excited about all of the new music they are adding to the set list, and can’t wait to see what his voice can do.
Jay Acri, on bass, was described as a best friend and a recluse, but I think Steve said it best when he said misunderstood. Jay can be laying down some of the sickest bass lines, but with the biggest smile ever! When you really watch this band you quickly see how a lot of their energy stems from Jay. Jay is not afraid to get right at the edge of the stage and include the crowd with the show. He definitely gets the whole room on their feet and dancing or singing along!
Lonnie, their insane drummer, was described as a lot of calm sounding words: under-rated, solid, and honest. I’m sure he is all of those things off the stage and he’s a great friend and brother to his band mates because that’s the kind of guy he is, but I can tell you on stage he’s insane! He’s an amazing drummer that keeps everyone going. I love how at every show he’s on his mic with his backing vocals, but is also very in-tune with the crowd making sure there is constant chatter about what’s happening on the stage with the band, but also with the crowd. Lonnie also never misses a Kodak moment. He’s always making eye contact with any photographer in the room making sure to help us get the perfect shot all while not missing a beat!
Steve, on guitar, is known to be dedicated, meticulous, and talented. One thing for sure is he is definitely talented! Steve keeps up with everyone else in the band and is just crazy on stage. I’ve seen plenty of people bowing down to Steve while he’s throwing down yet another amazing guitar solo. His hard work and dedication to his craft definitely doesn’t go unappreciated by their fans. Steve has also done amazing work with the behind the scenes band stuff: booking and promoting. It might by the most unglamorous part of being in a band, but if there isn’t one person willing to step up and take on those roles, the band isn’t going to go anywhere, and trust me Voodoo is everywhere!
All in all these guys are definitely a close knit family on and off the stage. This is not about the money at all for these guys. They are truly out here just making sure everyone is having a good time, and giving people an outlet to just let loose and have some fun! These guys bring a whole new level to the phrase, “One for All, and All for One!” They are more than just music, this is a brotherhood, a family of like minded musicians. They all have hard, physically demanding day jobs and their average age is around 45 years old, but they are still out there rockin’ people’s faces off! They just hope that by seeing them out there playing they can inspire more people to pick up an instrument and keep music alive.
When I asked them who they wanted to thank, I can’t believe the list these guys came up with. I unfortunately only have so much room in the magazine for this article, but just know that if you’ve ever played with, helped, or have been to a Voodoo show, your dedication to this band has not gone un-noticed. I’ve done a lot of interviews in 8 years, but these guys by far had the longest list of people they wanted to personally thank. Some that we have to mention that do the most for the band are their Wives, families, and girlfriends: Steve’s family: Angel, Hayden, and Treysen. Jay’s Mom, Chase, and girlfriend Tracy, and anyone else who has to deal with him. Lonnie’s wife, Michelina, and his kiddos, 2 girls, and 3 boys! And Joel wants to thank his family as well. They also want to throw out a very special thank you to Christine Charron, their photographer that is at almost every show. She’s the one who also shot their Cover picture, and the pictures they used for this article as well. Last, but not least a shout out to Shout at the Devil. When bands share bandmates it sometimes make scheduling shows and practices difficult, but these two bands work together great to make it all happen! Again they want to make sure that everyone knows they appreciate everyone for everything!
Believe it or not, look for an even more aggressive Voodoo this Spring! They will be spreading out musically and regionally, and one thing for sure is they are ready to rock at a venue near you. Make sure and “Like” Voodoo on Facebook to keep up with all of their events and changes. You can also simply check out their ad in this issue to plan your next night out on the town. To get them booked at your venue, give Steve a call at 717-884-5381.