Forget what any of the idiots giving this album 1 star say. This album is a classic rock and roll album. I bought this on cassette when it originally came out and had forgotten about it until the other day. Upon further review 10 years later, it’s still a great album. I even ordered it on CD. This is better than any of the stuff the other ex-gunners have released. The best we can hope for is the rumored reunion of everyone except Axl (thank god for small miracles)
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
On “Izzy Stradlin And The Ju Ju Hounds”, Stradlin leaves his GnR-past behind (no great loss – for him), and presents himself as a rock guitarist in the vein of the Faces and the Stones, but with a style all of his own.
This is a wonderful rock n’ roll album, plain and simple, and worth all of five stars. It continues to grow on me, and I’ve had it ever since it came out some thirteen years ago.
It may be lacking the obvious pop hit, but the quality of the songs is so high all the way through, not a single truly weak moment in sight. All in all, a real testament to Izzy Stradlin’s abilities as a songwriter, a guitarist, an arranger, and a producer.
The album contains a mixture of bluesy rockers (including a faithful cover of Ronnie Wood’s “Take A Look At The Guy”), ballads, and even a reggae-cover, Frederic ‘Toots’ Hibbert and the Maytal’s “Pressure Drop”.
On “Ju Ju Hounds”, Stradlin has surrounded himself with an extremely competent backing band, including former Georgia Satelites-guitarist Rick Richards, drummer Charlie Quintana, and the Faces’ keyboardist Ian McLagan playing piano and Hammond B3 organ.
And the results are terrific. Stradlin’s vocal delivery is somewhere in between the nasal whine of Bob Dylan and the hoarse whisper of Keith Richards, but his range is actually not at all bad, and his voice is more powerful than you would expect if you’ve only ever heard him do “Dust n’ Bones” and “14 Years” with Guns n’ Roses.
The opening track, “Somebody Knockin’”, is a sturdy, mid-tempo rocker worthy of the Stones, and it is followed by the Ju Ju Hounds’ hard-rockin cover of “Pressure Drop”, with a catchy instrumental reggae-coda, complete with Izzy Stradlin himself humming along to the syncopated beat.
Then comes a folksy little tune, “Time Gone By”, which feels like a ballad but is really mid-tempo, and ringing with mandolins and hand-claps, and the absolute highlight of Stradlin’s solo career, the song that should’ve become a classic, but inexplicably never did:
“Shuffle It All” starts off with a bluesy bass riff, then come the guitars, and finally the drums and the Hammond B3 kicks in, driving the song along. This is one of the best, grooviest rock shuffles I have ever heard, and the Rolling Stones would’ve been proud had they written it.
“Bucket O’ Trouble” is a short punk-throwback, and then comes another highlight, the hard rocker “Train Tracks”, with Stradlin and Rick Richards drawing a blueprint for all aspiring two-guitar combos to follow.
“How Will It Go” is a tender love song, mainly acoustic, but with Richards playing great electric fills over Stradlin’s intricate rhythm and former Broken Homes-bassist Jimmy Ashworth’s mandolin.
And that is followed by perhaps the catchiest rocker on the album, “Cuttin’ The Rug”, sporting more great, interlocking guitar work from Stradlin and Richards, and organ by Ian McLagan.
Finally, Ronnie Wood himself guests on “Take A Look At The Guy”, playing lead guitar and singing backup, and the album closes with the seven-minute “Come On Now Inside”, a slow, melancholy blues featuring great slide work from Rick Richards and Ian McLagan playing piano.
You may need to listen to this album a few times in order to truly appreciate it, but once you do, it’ll stay with you.
“Izzy Stradlin And The Ju Ju Hounds” is one of the select few albums that I keep coming back to, even after ten years. It is musical craftsmanship of the highest order, but it is not a pop record, and Izzy Stradlin with his raspy, nasal voice is no Perry Como. Still, why this did not become a real hit is beyond me. Song for song, it is as good as the Faces’ best work, and better than anything the Rolling Stones has done since the seventies.
For those of you looking for typical G’N'R sounding music, look elsewhere, this album has a more straight ahead, bluesy sound to it. I bought this album when it first came out in 1992 and can say that I always enjoy listening to it, neve getting tired of it. The album starts off with “Somebody Knockin” and continues to shine from there. Take a listen to “Pressure Drop”, “Shuffle It All”, “How Will It Go”, and “Train Tracks” to get a real sense of how great this album is. “Take A Look At The Guy” with Ron Wood on vocals is another gem as well. If you can get you hands on this album, buy it up. I think that it should be one of the top 25 albums of the 90’s and that is saying alot.
The fact that this album is out-of-print is rather depressing. In a perfect world, where album sales are based on quality, this album would have gone multi-platinum. But at least you can buy it used.
Izzy Stradlin’s debut “Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Houds” is simply one of rock’s great unknown treasures. Stradlin created an “Exile On Main Street” for the 90s, yet few people have ever heard it.
Stradlin was the most underrated member of Guns N’ Roses. Slash had the killer solos, Axl has the charisma, but Stradlin, along with Rose, was the great songwriter. Some of Stradlin’s best work was written after he left Guns N’ Roses. What you get with “Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Hounds” is basically a Rolling Stones/Faces sounding album for the early 90s.
Stradlin’s influence in GN’R can be heard on such songs as “Double Talkin’ Jive,” “Dust N’ Bones,” and “14 Years.” If you liked those songs, this album is for you.
This album is all killer and no filler. If you haven’t heard this album yet, do yourself a favor and order a copy.
When Jeffrey “Izzy Stradlin” Isbell left Guns n’ Roses back in 1991, I was very excited to hear his first solo album. At first I was a little disappointed – this is not very much like G n’R – but this album really grows on you, and now, 6 or 7 years later, “Izzy Stradlin and the JuJu Hounds” is one of my favorite albums. It was Axl Roses loss for sure when Stradlin chose to leave. This is a great, raw and raunchy slice of rock and roll, in the style of The Rolling Stones, and filled with good guitar work from Izzy himself and lead guitarist Rick Richards, formerly of The Georgia Satellites. If you’ve listened to the track “Dust n’ Bones”, sung by Izzy on Guns n’ Roses’ album “Use Your Illusion I”, you’ll have a pretty good idea what to expect.But still, this is NOT Guns n’ Roses revisited, and thank heavens for that! This album is filled with solid, straightforward rock and roll, and Izzy has cultivated a hoarse, nasal vocal style which actually suits the songs pretty well.Izzy Stradlin was never as extrovert or as carismatic as Axl Rose or fellow Guns n’ Roses guitarist Slash, but he is a better (and less pretentious) songwriter by far, and this is a truly great, timeless rock and roll album.