Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Concrete Blonde


I just got most of the releases by Concrete Blonde, the trio from Caifornia who became popular in the mid 1980's. I had forgotten just how good of a band they were. Singer and bassis Johnette Napolitano formed the band with guitarist James Mankey and drummer Harry Rushakoff. The first single was "Still in Hollywood" which got airplay on MTV. That is where I first heard them. Their most commercially successful album was Bloodletting (1990), with the top 40 radio hit "Joey". They broke up in 1993 then reformed in 2001. The band is now officially done.


Johnette has a very cool, smoky kind of singing voice. Her lyrics are often dark and foreboding. The guitar work of James Mankey is very unique, and in the crowded world of guitarists, he forged a style and tone all his own. Those of us who care about guitar style and tone would recognize him right away.


The band put out about six studio releases, a few live recordings and a best of... CD. I love their take on "Little Wing" written by Jimi Hendrix. They also did a killer rendition of "Beware of Darkness" written by George Harrision. "True", "Happy Birthday", the three chord acoustic "Make Me Cry", "I Don't Need a Hero", "Little Conversations" , and "Scene of a Perfect Crime"
are a few of my favorites. I am looking forward to listening to all of the other songs that I have not heard yet.

1 comment:

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Just added them to my list of music to check out, thanks