The prospect of an upcoming birthday-celebration party animal weekend got me out of the blues finally. Whenever there are interesting plans ahead I immediately get excited and nervous, and the good vibes start.
This is another album I always relate to positive state of mind, party and good mood, and remind me of good ol’ times.
Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds was the debut album of Stradlin after departing from the mighty Guns n’ Roses. Once recovered from his addictions, he was so sober as to be unable to cope with the band anymore. He left the band, moved back to Lafayette, his hometown, and started to take things easier.
Supported by Georgia Satellites’ Rick Richards on lead guitar, and Charlie Quintana on drums (wow!), and free from the typical mainstream pressures, Stradlin worked on new compositions, more rock classic influenced, with roots, away from the anger and appetite for destruction so present in Guns n’ Roses early stuff.
To be honest, this first album made me realize that Izzy was the brains in his former band, and noticed he was the main music writer there. Some songs have GN’R essence present somehow. Having followed his solo career, this is definitely, the transition album to what he was to become.
Somebody Knockin’ is, for me, one of the best album starters ever, fresh, powerful, catchy and classic, with some lines with lots of sense. It’s like whenever I play this, I feel like happy, relieved and energic. Really, I love this tune.
Personally I find the covers as interesting and awesome as the rest of songs. On one hand, Pressure Drop, originally by the Maytals, and famous by The Clash, combining hard rock fast part, that I was telling you GN’R sounding like, with reggae, and the classic and marvelous Take a Look at the Guy, with Ron Wood also playing and singing. That’s great! Izzy has never hidden his passion for the Stones, in fact he was the most classic influenced in the band, and covering Wood, featuring the very same Wood, is just a blast.
Of course the rest of songs deserve all the respect, Shuffle It All, Cuttin’ the Rug, Come on Now Inside… you never get tired of this album and need to play it minimum twice in a row.
Two weeks ago, a close friend, Sofia, came home to spend the night for pizza, beers and a long chat. We played Stradlin’s following album, 117º, my personal favorite, I gotta say. Probably because of such a great time we had, I felt like listening to it last week. That, and another beer time with another friend, Joaquin. He chose this album too for the evening soundtrack. I’m glad for having friends having such great taste, as much passionate about rock as I am. God bless!