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
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more