Voodoo Love, He said, She said...
So, The Brehms wrote a song called “Voodoo Love?” Are they from Louisiana? Did we miss something?
Though we love music from the French Quarter, we are Texans through and through. We were inspired by the Hades/Persephone myth while crafting Voodoo Love last spring. The song was specifically composed with the idea that when we fall head over heels in love, our hearts are taken captive. We make the leap and hand over our heart to love. In time, we will hopefully learn to love the whole person, embracing elements of the light and the dark. When you are crazy in love, what can you do?! We’ll follow that love to the ends of the earth, and hopefully we’ll experience more seasons of spring, rather than winter. It's interesting how many artists have created work that explores the loving relationship between Hades and Persephone. Google around...it's everywhere! We had fun with this tune, and we hope it will put a spell on YOU!
People often ask us about our writing process, and honestly, it feels like every song has a unique genesis. I’ll never forget when David was messing around with the beginnings of Voodoo Love in our kitchen. He had been working on the music for a Django influenced Gypsy swing tune, and when I heard his riffs, I instantly fell in love with the sound! David got into the idea so much the decided to draw cartoon versions of each of us for our website and business cards.
Ok, back to the music. I vividly remember the moment I stopped in my tracks, while making dinner, because the sound from David's guitar was fantastic! After hearing the chord progressions and energy coming from his guitar, I began to conjure up images of Hades from the Disney film, Hercules. Random, right?...
The Hades image really stuck in my mind. Couldn't let it go! Fortunately, David was an animator on the Jimmy Neutron Feature Film & TV series (multi-talented guy), so he gravitated to the theme quickly.
We immediately went to work on the melody and lyrics. The recurring “voodoo love” theme came pretty quickly, and in one afternoon the bulk of the song was in place.
The song title is "Voodoo Love" but our experience with witchcraft is limited to the famous tune sung by Ella and Frank, or maybe Nina Simone’s, “I Put A Spell On You.”
We soon hired producer/studio wizard, Josh Goode, and contemporary spin on our gypsy swing tune was born! See that smile? He's always that way. Seriously. Josh creates such positive energy in his sessions, and we love him!
Voodoo Love is the first single on our High Life – EP, and it is available right now!! Go forth and download, my friends!
The stories of Greek mythology have been passed down for centuries, and though bizarre at times, are always highly entertaining. Last spring, Stephanie came up with the idea to write a song based on the popular myth of Hades and Persephone. I loved the idea from the beginning, and it made perfect sense for Stephanie to sing a song about Persephone (and Hades).
As a young girl, Stephanie's nickname was "Sunshine." Between the stories her family has told me, and my own first hand knowledge, there is much evidence to prove she has qualities similar to the Greek goddess. For instance, whenever Persephone would come down from Olympus and dance on earth, flowers would spring up...ok, c'mon, that's a total stretch. My beautiful wife can't keep a plant alive at our house for more than two weeks, but she does enjoy dancing.
Plant cultivation aside, Stephanie usually does leave a smile on people's faces wherever she goes.
Also, there are occurrences where Stephanie can be found utilizing special powers, but that is for another day.
Turns out, Voodoo is an interesting word to to rhyme with, and as songwriters it presented a fun challenge. Growing up in San Antonio and Fort Worth, the only Voodoo Stephanie or I ever came across was the band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (who by the way is coming to Dallas this month at the Kessler.)
While we still don't claim to know much about the actual practice of Voodoo, our scant research revealed that singing is a common ritual among voodoo practitioners. So, there is that.
If you need a quick refresher on the Hades/Persephone myth, here's the low-cal version:
One day, during the flower's bloom at dawn, Persephone ran about in the meadow and managed to stray away from her mother and the attending nymphs. Suddenly, the ground split open, and up from the yawning crevice came a dark chariot drawn by black horses. At the reins stood Hades. Using his own special form of Voodoo, Hades managed to coax Persephone onto his chariot, turned his horses, and plunged back into the ground.
Persephone's Mother Demeter immediately felt something was wrong and rushed wildly about looking in vain for her daughter, who had vanished without a trace.
With Persephone in his arms, Hades raced his snorting horses down away from the sunlit world. Down and down they sped along the dark path to his dismal underground palace.
Soon Persephone was seated beside him on a throne of black marble, decked with gold and precious stones. But the jewels brought her no joy. She longed for warm sunshine and to be reunited with her distressed mother.
Above on earth, Demeter ran about searching for her lost daughter, and all nature grieved with her. Flowers wilted, trees lost their leaves, and fields grew barren and cold. People and animals starved and everyone around begged Demeter to once again bless the earth. But she refused to let anything grow until she found her daughter.
Bent with grief, she returned to the meadow where Persephone had vanished and continued to wander around. She met a youth whose name was Triptolemus who told her his brother (a pig farmer) had seen his pigs disappear into the ground and heard the frightened screams of a girl.
Demeter now understood that Hades had kidnapped her daughter and her grief turned to anger. She called to Zeus and said that she would never again make the earth green if he did not command Hades to return Persephone.
Zeus sent Hermes down to Hades, bidding him to let Persephone go. Even Hades had to obey the orders of Zeus, and sadly he said farewell to his queen.
Joyfully, Persephone leapt to her feet, but as she was leaving with Hermes, a hooting laugh came from the garden. There stood the gardener of Hades, grinning. He pointed to a pomegranate from which a few of the kernels were missing. Persephone, lost in thought, had eaten the seeds, he said.
Hades smiled. He knew Persephone must return to him, for she had tasted the food of the dead.
When Persephone again appeared on Earth, Demeter jumped for joy and rushed to greet her daughter.
"Dear child," she said, " never again shall we be parted. Together we shall make all nature bloom." But joy soon was changed to sadness, for Persephone had to admit that she had tasted the food of the dead and must return to Hades.
In a rare moment of compassion, Zeus decided that mother and daughter should not be parted forever. He ruled that Persephone return to Hades and spend one month in the underworld for each seed she had eaten.
On the flip side...
Stephanie and I like to believe Hades simply fell in love with Persephone, and while he probably did kidnap her, she found him to be charming, good looking, and they vacationed well together.
Or perhaps, Hades and Persephone staged the whole kidnapping to escape her overbearing mother, Demeter who didn't like Hades' three-headed dog Cerberus.
In any case, we hope you enjoy our groovy, Gypsy-esque take on the tale... the perfect soundtrack for your next Halloween or Mardis Gras party.
David & Stephanie Brehm
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