Selling out shows and making television appearances doesn’t always define a musician’s career; for Scott Tournet, staying true to oneself is the real marker of musical success.
Tournet experienced such successes as an original member of the popular indie rock group Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, as he was part of the lineup from 2003-2014. He was a co-writer on three Top 40 albums, and helped reel in a gold record for their hit, “Paris (Ohh La La).”
After spending his last summer with the group playing football stadiums opening for Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, Scott felt like The Nocturnals were going in the wrong direction, in addition to feeling musically stifled by 30-minute sets of the same songs every night.
Having studied music composition, world music, and jazz at college, Scott decided to combine rock n’ roll with some more disparate influences. This became San Diego-based band Elektric Voodoo. For the past six years, he has fronted this 7-piece ensemble and written all the music, which combines Latin and Afrobeat grooves with rock n’ roll guitars, a horn section, and psychedelic soundscapes.
Additionally, he pumps out his own music under his own name, forging his own musical direction.
The most recent display of his musical path comes in the form of his latest gritty riff-rockin’ single, “Fool’s Gold,” which dropped June 13th. It’s a track that is familiar yet new, stylish but not too polished, and overall, uniquely him. The song is full of classic, biting electric guitar riffs reminiscent of some of Tournet’s strongest influences within the classic and blues rock realm, but it hits with it a modern flair that keeps it fresh.
Sharply written lines like “Limousines and palm trees / Yeah, you got the disease / Reaching for the stars can bring you down to your knees,” help paint the picture of the notion that all that glitters is not gold. The lyrics keep the listener interested in the message, while also giving them room to appreciate the rock n’ roll lifting the words.
From his humble beginnings in rural Vermont, Tournet knew at a young age that he wanted to forge his own path when it came to music. He was always drawn to creativity, music, and storytelling, but he struggled to pursue music within the education system because he never connected with the traditional curriculum. He found himself deviating from the classroom and playing music on his own, trying to express something he could not get across through the means he was learning about in school; a comparable circumstance he would experience later in life with The Nocturnals.
2023 finds Tournet set to release a new album under his own name with a new 4-piece band. While the sound is sonically current, it also draws from American roots and pop music from the 1950s until today.
*Note: Paul Howard contributed to this article.