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Updated: 06/29/2017 08:30:01AM

Voodoo Fuel releases funky debut album, ‘Catalyst’

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'Catalyst' is the new album from Highlands County-based Voodoo Fuel. Original artwork for the cover is by Lake Placid's Megan Smith.


Pat McDaniel playing a six string bass that he custom made. He is the owner of Professional Bass Works.


Tony McDaniel playing trumpet at a recent video shoot at Full Sail University. He is the primary music writer and creates the band's drum and keyboard loops.


Tony Suazo is the band's guitarist. He is shown nailing a solo during a video shoot.


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The Highlands County based jazz/funk band Voodoo Fuel has recently released its debut album, “Catalyst.” The name of the album is apropos as a catalyst is the agent that causes change. At two years young, Voodoo Fuel have seen a lot of change from forming the band, playing live and at festivals to the production of their first album.

Members of Voodoo Fuel are bassist Pate McDaniel; Tony Suazo on guitar; and Tony McDaniel plays trumpet, drum loops and keyboard loops.

“Catalyst” features nine songs: “Use Me Up,” “La Comadreja,” “Orphan Song” (club version), “Mambo 151,” “Deep Water,” “Super G,” “Gettin’ What U See,” “Tradin’ Stories” and “Orphan Song” (house version). The songs are instrumental for the most part with some vocals with McDaniel using a voice synthesizer.

The album is a complementary mix of jazz and funk with Worldbeat and even a bit of electronic dance music highlights. There are light and quirky songs like “Mambo 151” and darker tunes like “Use Me Up,” giving the album a well-balanced and rounded sound.

Fair warning, this is not your grandmother’s jazz or smooth jazz; it is a genre bending blend of where jazz has been and a foray into the future of it.

All the songs are original tunes except for two; “La Comadreja,” which means “the weasel” in Spanish and is a creative adaption to the familiar “Pop Goes the Weasel” open domain song; and “Use Me Up” which was inspired by Bill Withers.

Each song has a different feel and tone; no cookie cutter rhythms and melodies here. The band’s influences of Marcus Miller and Miles Davis are prevalent on the album.

“I don’t know that I went for a specific feel for the album,” said McDaniel. “The songs are so different in some respects, they all paint different colors. I think of the album as a painting. You don’t use one color to create a painting. You have a solid foundation and lots of colors layered on top of it. I think the main thing is we wanted it to groove. The groove is there.”

McDaniel writes most of the band’s songs and says there is no set pattern in finding inspiration for them.

“I think the inspiration is just my love of music,” he said. “I can’t even tell you where my ideas for music comes from; sometimes I just wake up and they’re there. It’s like the title of the CD, ‘Catalyst’, sometimes an idea strikes you or causes a reaction. A lot of times it starts with making a loop and finding a keyboard part that works with it and I build a melody from there. I don’t build the songs the same way every time. Sometimes I start with a melody and build a rhythm, sometimes it’s the opposite.”

Voodoo Fuel will be releasing new professional music videos soon. Recording and playing live is on tap as well. For booking information call 863-991-1546.

The digital and physical copies of the CD and singles can be sampled and purchased on CD Baby, iTunes and wherever music is sold. For more information visit The band can be found on most social media sites including Facebook and ReverbNation.