Scott Tournet's starting from scratch

Former Nocturnals guitarist debuts his Afrobeat-inspired Elektric Voodoo

Elektric Voodoo makes its debut at Belly Up on Wednesday, March 9.
  • Elektric Voodoo makes its debut at Belly Up on Wednesday, March 9.

When Scott Tournet last checked in with the Reader, it was three years ago. He’d moved to San Diego from his native Vermont the year before and he’d recently recorded his first solo album at Earthling Studios in El Cajon. This time, the lead guitarist called to say that he finally left his long-running gig with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, but that he still lives here, and he’s started a band. “It had been 13 years,” he says in reference to being a Nocturnal, “and I wanted to do something different.”

"Lights Go Down" Scott Tournet Scott Tournet

Tournet’s just now putting the finishing touches on a new record with help from San Diego musicians Ben Moore (Styletones), John Staten (Karl Denson), and percussionist Ty Kiernan. “The music is inspired by Afrobeat and ’60s and ’70s psychedelic rock, but plenty of other influences shine through.” He calls his new band Elektric Voodoo. “It’s very different from the last solo record I did.” Agreed, in a good way.

“The Nocturnals had their Rolling Stones-ish rock-and-roll sound, and we couldn’t explore many other avenues.” Tournet says he studied a little jazz and some Afrobeat when he was in college, and it got lodged in his memory. “Fela Kuti — I always loved that music.” He says he started making his own Afrobeat-inspired tracks at home, by himself, by laying down percussion tracks and then crafting songs.

Belly Up Tavern

143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach

“I recorded all the parts myself,” he says, “because I didn’t really know anybody. I’ve lived here with my fiancée for four years, but I was only home for two weeks at a time, maybe a month,” he explains, due to Grace Potter’s near-constant touring schedule. “I was part of a large machine that went pretty far in this business. Now, I’m starting from scratch, and I’m getting excited again. For now, I just want to play locally and get this thing going and see where it goes.”

Almost Young and Luneaux also perform.

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