Mad Juana — Acoustic Voodoo
(Azra 008, 2005, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01
I was going to say, “Here’s one out of left field” but that’s unfair. Mad Juana comes from somewhere outside the ballpark entirely, from some dark, candle-lit back-alley fortune teller’s den, where the smell of incense and who-knows-what tells you that boundaries are illusions and reality may not be what you think it is. Like a number of other groups (Charming Hostess, Barbez, and Luminescent Orchestrii come to mind), they mix punk-informed rock with influences from around the world, be they gypsy, Balkan, or whatever. Mad Juana’s particular mix includes some Spanish flavor and more than a little spooky Cajun vibe – not the bouncy sound of Zydeco, more the slow blues of the bayou. And like those other bands, mad Juana features a charismatic female singer, in this case Karmen Guy, a sort of cross-cultural Patti Smith. As the title implies, instrumentation is essentially acoustic, though that does not lead to any shortage of drive or energy. Between Tony Mann’s congas and the mad strumming of Sami Yaffa’s guitar, there’s plenty of propulsive power. Accordion, viola, trumpet, and saxes fill out the sound with a small-scale cinematic esthetic akin to Ennio Morricone’s more offbeat work. And it’s all catchy as hell. Check out their reworking of “Venus in Furs” – included in three alternate versions in addition to the album track.
Related artist(s): Mad Juana
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more