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Johnny Damas and Me

Artist - Author: 
John Trudell

John Trudell has spent a lifetime saying what he means, meaning what he says, and staring down the barrel of the consequences. His second album continues the rant and roll started with his acclaimed debut album, AKA GRAFFITI MAN. This is a brave and eloquent album combining passionate vocals with a gutsy blues-rock base and traditional Native North American music.

Many of the songs on the album concern women and the problems they face in today's society. "Half of everything is the female spirit and energy. I wanted to reflect some of that," Trudell explains. With a title ironically drawn from the police call for a domestic disturbance, "See The Woman" pays tribute to women's strength of spirit: "In all conditions she is life bringer/In all life she is our necessity." Fierce power chords underscore the onimous "Shadow Over Sisterland," a study of the potential abuses of power, wealth and position. Inspired by the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas confrontation and the trial of William Kennedy Smith, the song cuts to the chase: "The laws of justice are business decisions/Gender and class cut with surgical precision." In the contrasting sway of "Baby Doll Blues," Cinderella dreams and Barbie playtime turn sour with harsh adulthood: "The golden chalice turns into a Teflon cup."

While many of the songs of JOHNNY DAMAS AND ME focus on women's themes, the album touches on other subjects as well. Native American cries meet a looping blues groove in "All There Is To It," a stream-of-consciousness catalog of the body politic's evils and a refusal to surrender. Most deeply affecting may be Trudell's own self-examination in "After All These Years" which poignantly chronicles the sorrow he will always carry from the loss of his family (who were killed in a suspicious house fire shortly after Trudell took part in a flag-burning protest). Those familiar with Rykodisc's BORN TO CHOOSE pro-choice benefit compilation album will recognize the glistening 12-string guitars that carry the spiritual call-to-arms of "Rant n Roll," which is also included on this album. - Amazon Editorial Review

1. Rant And Roll
2. See The Woman
3. Raptor
4. Shadow Over Sisterland
5. Baby Dolls Blues
6. That Love
7. Johnny Damas And Me
8. Across My Heart
9. Something About You
10. After All These Years
11. All There Is To It