An Alternative to Guns N’ Roses: Part 2 – Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds

Welcome back. As we know, the GN’R bus is rolling and to celebrate the ‘return of GN’R’, I’ll be highlighting a couple of my favourite GN’R related projects.  Reasons not to bother with ‘The Most Dangerous Band In the World’ (© GN’R 1986), if you will.

So, put away your GN’R sweatbands, Charlie Manson t-shirts, red bandannas, and GN’R records / CDs / tapes (most likely Appetite For Destruction, right?) and set your browser to Discogs / Amazon / Spotify / YouTube (delete where applicable).

Not that I’m anti-Guns N’ Roses or anything.

Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds
Geffen, 1992

izzy

When Izzy Stradlin left GN’R in late 1991 or thereabouts he was jaded by the circus that surrounded ‘The Most Dangerous Band In the World’ (© GN’R 1986). The relationships, the excess, and the attention.  “Where’s Izzy?” was plastered everywhere on the GN’R stage.  Where was he?  Well, he was at home.  He once told Rolling Stone “once I quit drugs, I couldn’t help looking around and asking myself, ‘Is this all there is?’ I was just tired of it; I needed to get out”.

Shortly afterwards, he resurfaced with Rick Richards, Jimmy Ashhurst, and Charlie Quintana.  Their album, Izzy Stradlin & Ju Ju Hounds was recorded over the course of 6 short months and is a ragged and soulful roots rock record in the style of The Rolling Stones (particularly Keith Richards).  Actually, to focus solely on the Keef / Rolling Stones influence would be selling it short, as there’s a sprinkling of punk and reggae in there too (which Pressure Drop flirts between effortlessly, as does Cuttin’ The Rug).

There are shadows of Izzy’s contributions to GN’R and the album’s mellow glow and raggedness is the antithesis of the bloated Use Your Illusion shenanigans. Somebody Knockin’ and Shuffle It All are highlights and a fair representation of the album’s vibe.  In fact, while Izzy would go on to make more consistent albums than this one, both those songs remain gems in his catalogue.

Part 1 – 10 Minute Warning (1998)

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31 Comments Add yours

  1. Jay says:

    I don’t know this one, but now I’m off to listen to more.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mikeladano says:

      Hey Jay, I’m with J on this one. It’s a very special album, sonically laid back but still rock and roll.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Jay says:

        Yeah, I’ve had a couple good listens now, I’m convinced!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. J. says:

      It’s a winner – some nice laid back grooves.

      Like

  2. I did have this one… on tape! I really liked some tracks but can’t remember much about it now. Might hit it up online and see how I feel about it now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      It’s a good one for dealing with the Monday blues, the midweek lull, and for putting the feet up to on a Sunday.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember liking it in a Black Crowes kinda way… but not quite as good!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. J. says:

        Y’know, I reckon that’s a fair assessment!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. boppinsblog says:

    I loves me some Izzy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. deKE says:

    I saw a Izzy less JuJu Hounds here in Tbay openimg for The Black Crowes back in 1993! I reviewed that show….the JuJu Hounds did a bunch of covers to kill time….this isn great rock n roll record ..like Mikey said…Laid Back!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. J. says:

      That would have been a swell show! They were a pretty smashin band. Ashhurst went on to jam and record with Chris Robinson and Marc Ford (Foamfoot and Sweet Pickle Salad). But, yes – this is a great album.

      Like

  5. boppinsblog says:

    Wikioedia lists a Japan only live EP of Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds.

    Hmmmm

    Like

    1. J. says:

      I believe there’s a Japanese reissue of the Ju Ju Hounds album with the EP. Or at least I think I read that somewhere …

      Like

  6. boppinsblog says:

    At least you can physically buy a copy. Most of his stuff is Itunes only which I am not on as I am too old, and too old school.

    Shame on you Izzy. This is a slap in the face to your fans in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      That’s true. I think the last album that got a physical release was The River? I guess it’s easier to release straight to iTunes without a label, though. Or an online presence!

      Like

  7. keepsmealive says:

    I have this! Love love love it. YES!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      Hurrah! for Izzy!

      Like

  8. stephen1001 says:

    J – thanks for shining a light on these albums. I bet if you surveyed 100 people, most (present company definitely excluded!) would answer the question “name the members of GNR” with Slash, Axl, Duff..so it’s nice to see Izzy getting some of the spotlight for his musicianship.

    Like

    1. J. says:

      I think you’re right. Such an integral part of GN’R, yet often overlooked (my favourite GN’R songs are those penned or co-penned by Izzy!)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi, I’m writing about every song that ever became a #1 hit, backwards chronologically, in the journey that is the Every Number One blog. I would really appreciate if you took a look around.

    Like

  10. Had this on cassette but it never really became a huge favourite. I’m off to download it now and see whether time has been kind…
    Hadn’t appreciated Rick Richards played on it (Georgia Satellites?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      Just recently got the Music On Vinyl reissue treatment, which is fairly surprising (though welcome!). And yeah, the very same Rick Richards. I believe he plays on most of Izzy’s stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You may already know this but this is one of my all time favourite records. I think it might be better than most Guns N’ Roses records to boot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J. says:

      I agree with you. I’m surprised this didn’t get more attention… though I dare say that suited Izzy.

      Liked by 1 person

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