Dr. E and the Voodoo Kings rock the Hub City
Southern Miss psychology professor and Hattiesburg resident jams in and out of the classroom
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 01:04
Local band Doctor E and the Mississippi Voodoo Kings released a new album last week titled “The Doctor Is In” with South City Records at the University of Southern Mississippi. The band was featured on WUSM 88.5 Tuesday.
Robert Thronson with South City Records encouraged everyone to tune in at noon to USM’s local radio station.
“When I first moved to Hattiesburg a friend, Brad Dufrene, volunteered me to play at the Downtown Victorian Candle Lighting in December of 2005,” lead singer David Echevarria said. “It was there that I was introduced to Tate Thriffiley, who at the time was with the Deltamatics.”
Echevarria said that they hit it off and started played stripped down versions of their favorite blues songs. Thriffiley played stand up bass and Echevarria sand and played guitar and the bass drum. Original ideas started growing out of those early shows.
Echevarria grew up with the Latino/Caribbean version of voodoo (Santeria), and when he moved to the area he was fascinated by the common themes he discovered in Cajun and delta voodoo and folklore.
“The Dr. E part came out of being at Southern Miss,” said Echevarria, who is a psychology professor at USM. “Almost immediately students called me Dr. E because they couldn’t pronounce ‘Echevarria.’”
Now “Dr. E” and simply “E” have become Echevarria’s nickname.
“Many of my friends and neighbors downtown don’t even know my last name. That is just a riot to me.”
The band officially formed in the spring of 2006 with Thriffiley and Drew Wooton, is the drummer.
“Sometimes we play as a duo, a trio or a full orchestral funk machine,” says Echevarria. The Voodoo Kings are Tate, who plays bass; Drew, who plays drums; Paul Linden, who plays harmonica and piano and Chris Werle, who plays trombone. The new album also features David Carter on trumpet and Ryan Raziano on saxophone.
“It’s a pretty big posse,” Echevarria said. “We roll deep.”
Based out of Hattiesburg, Echevarria was born in the South Bronx of New York and later lived in Flushing, Queens and Long Island.
“In the 1980s I took 10 years off from academia and played in a glam metal band,” Echevarria said. “My first encounter with the South was back in the 80s when I spent some time in New Orleans honing my blues skills playing Bourbon Street with the Rooster.”
He said there was a great music scene before t-shirt and daiquiri shops took over.
“I learned a lot from playing with folks back in the day,” Echevarria said. “It was then that I fell in love with the South and the Saints.”
Echevarria will be performing at Walnut Circle Grill in downtown Hattiesburg on Friday with Thriffiley and Linden with vintage equipment.
Visit the “Dr. E and the Mississippi Voodoo Kings” Facebook page to find out more about the band.