Monday, April 9, 2012

Michael Juan Nunez and the American Electric is set to release "My Little Train Wreck" on April 17th, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I was baby sitting my adorable grand baby and stayed home while Dan and Larry drove  over to Lafayette to see Michael Juan Nunez and The American Electric at a fundraiser.I don't know much about that show, but as Dan was leaving Juan slipped him a copy of the just completed and polished "My Little Train Wreck" CD to bring back for a listen.

I was honored. I listened to it four times in a row and sent Juan a message: Could I review it? He said to keep it under wraps for a while and that we were privy to it ahead of the world. Of course we have been listening to it non stop. It has ten clean cuts.

Juan's song writing and slide guitar abilities shine here. He also brought into the fold some of the best musicians Acadiana  has to offer, including super slide star Sonny Landreth.
Over the last few months we have seen Juan play the title track song "My Little Train Wreck" many times with only him on guitar. It was a delight to hear Sonny Landreth slide on in on that cut and to hear Juan hold his own next to Sonny. I used to think Juan was heavily influenced by Sonny, but side by side it is obvious that Juan has a distinctive individual  style of his own. He uses a variety of guitars on these tracks and even plays bass on a cut.

Juan has brought in some young guns from his Alma Mater, Erath High School. A young man from Erath High School named Alex Boudreaux plays trumpet, Mike Veasey, the assistant band director at Erath High School plays sax, and Josh Trahan from UL plays trombone on the cut named "Lemonade." This cut has a very "New Orleans" feel to it. Delightful.

Dudley Fruge and Clint Redwing appear on the drums throughout the tracks. I can tell who is who, but listeners not familiar to these two might have a hard time distinguishing between the two. Basically, if there is finesse involved in the drums, that is Dudley. Powerful pounding sounds of driven force is usually Clint.
My favorite bass player in the world, Chad Willis is found here in full force. On "Needles," the sound gets powerful and tough and it brought back the feel of an Anders Osborne show I saw a year ago. Clint Redwing pounds the drums with force and conviction here.

The cut "Rock N Roll" is very good but I am hooked on the version from Juan's web site in a group of songs he allowed fans to download for free called "Songs from Potter's Field." (That gift is gone from his site now, I am sorry to say!) I can't get used to this version. If you have not heard the former, you will like this version just fine.

A tune about Harry Hippolite is endearing. This is a sweet tune dedicated to Juan's dear friend. It is a wonderful blues ode to a wonderful person.It is soulful and emotional.This showcases Juan's use of the slide in a way that is all his own.

The end cut is my favorite. "Up Jump the Devil" showcases the unusual  sounds Juan can coax  from the guitar just as he does at the end of each and every live show he does. Juan coaxes out sound here that is powerful, unusual, yet subtle.This cut reeks of  hardcore blues. Gris Gris oozes out of the sounds sliding across the landscape all the way from Congo Square ..........................

You can catch Michael Juan Nunez and the American Electric Thursday, April 19th, at  8:00 pm at Jefferson St. Pub, Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA, and at Festival Internationale in Lafayette, Louisiana on April 28th.
Below is the link to a video from the fundraiser that I missed.

There is a long list of people involved in the making of this CD:
Dan Desandro does the Mexican DJ voice on "Border Station."
Jerry Lejeune plays a gris gris stick on "Up Jump The Devil."
The CD is engineered by Tony Daigle and produced by A.J. Dauphin and MJN.
It is mixed by MJN and Tony Daigle. It was recorded October 22-26 2011 at Electric Comoland Studios in Lafayette, Louisiana, except for "Up Jump The Devil." Additional over dubs were done at Jerry Lejeune's studio in Lafayette, Louisiana. "Up Jump The Devil" was recorded (the guitar and vocals) at the KRVS
studio on the ULL campus by Aaron Thomas, and Carl Fontenot.

I am looking forward to the next few shows. I hope to see you there.
Patty McGehee

Below is a link to a live performance..........


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