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Voodoo Economy 

We hedonists all know there is no such thing as too much of a good thing, and the Voodoo Organist agrees. "There's nothing better than a great drummer -- so I added two," says Scott Wexton, the demonic genius himself, of his band's new lineup and reinvigorated live presence. It's the kind of thing that must be witnessed to be believed. A red-suited madman thrashes and wails his skull-decorated organ, propelling himself into the hearts and souls of the faithful in attendance. If you like the Cramps mixed with the Reverend Horton Heat and Screamin' Jay Hawkins strained through the blues and delivered in a gravelly-throat yowl, get your ass downtown. Besides, what else are you gonna do? See Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts at Northern Quest Casino?

Wexton is a road warrior. And with his newest album, The Serpent Dance, along with a two-month tour that started last week in L.A. and ends in Las Vegas, there is no reason to believe he plans on slowing down anytime soon. "I play around 150 shows a year, in 50-some cities," he says. "Getting around and seeing the country is certainly a perk of touring."

Wexton possesses powers beyond those of the average musician; sometime in the past, apparently, he was granted some Mephistophelean grandeur. No matter what he was offered in exchange for talent -- "My mind," Wexton deadpans -- it's clear the devil got screwed in the bargain. But it's also clear that Wexton functions quite capably with a half-full brainpan.

In terms of the one-man band phenomenon, the Voodoo Organist used to be at the pinnacle, in a league of his own. Or, more correctly, he and Bob Log III dominated the scene. (If you don't know Bob Log III, eternal damnation awaits.) Since all good things must come to an end -- "I do not plan on doing any more solo shows from this point on," says Wexton -- we take solace in the fact that sometimes more glorious resurrections follow. Such is the case for the Voodoo Organist. Having added two drummers -- one standard thunder crasher, one junk percussionist -- to his sound, the entire package becomes more outrageous, more full. "The Devil Drums really amp up the energy. Drums are my second love after organs/synths ... They greatly enhance the sound and vibe." Cringe not, ye loyalists: All the gothic, creepy elements remain, especially the Theremin.

With this new incarnation, this darkest of pastors seems on the verge of converting all sorts of neophytes to his brand of "exotic demonic blues that will steer your conga line straight to Hell." If that doesn't pique your interest, check your pulse.

And if you see the devil himself stalking around before or after the show, I'll let you in on a little secret: He loves the Bushmills -- and three, by his count, is just right. The only thing odd about this is: I would have sworn the devil drank martinis.

The Voodoo Organist at the Blue Spark on Saturday, April 8, at 10 pm. Cover TBA. Call 838-5787.

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