CD REVIEW: Mick Jagger’s Heart by Junk Parlor

Junk Parlor’s strength is in their unique sound – once you hear their music, you’ll surely remember their style and recognize them. This is one of the most important qualities these days, when identity’s lost in the abundance of music. Junk Parlor describe their genre as Rock and Junk, however their fans have named their style as “Gypsy Crooner Punk”, because of the low range vocals of the lead singer Jason Vanderford. Junk Parlor get their inspiration from unexpected places like eastern European and belly dance melodies, shaping and twisting them until they get that unique Junk Parlor vibe. If you’re a fan of Tom Waits, Django Reinhardt, Nick Cave, Louis Armstrong, Gogol Bordello, Dead Kennedys or Leonard Cohen, make sure to check out Junk Parlor!

But who are the people behind it and what’s the background of the band? Junk Parlor was formed on 14 March 2013 in Oakland, CA. The main driving force behind the music is Jason Vanderford, known for his work with the famous jazz band The Hot Club of San Francisco, as well as his association with Americano Social Club, Seth Ford Young Quartet, Little Charlie’s Caravan, Clint Bakers New Orleans Jazz Band and Avatar Ensemble. His diverse taste in music includes punk, rock and roll, gipsy rumba and Hungarian melodies. This somewhat explains the interesting sound Junk Parlor have. Jason Vanderford is responsible for vocals, as well as banjo and rhythm guitar. On drums and cajón we hear Rt Goodrich, who’s also played with Beso Negro, Standing Room Only and Staggerwing. Laela Peterson-Stolen, known for composing The Space Between: The Making of First Breath – Last Breath, is responsible for the gorgeous violin melodies. Tim Bush, who’s played with Freddie Roulette, Danny Montana, Jim Martin, Sweetie Pie and the Doughboys, Sam Andrew and Chuck Day, is behind the fretless bass.

The new single, “Mick Jagger’s Heart”, was influenced by the famous ballad “Dear Doctor” by The Rolling Stones. It was recorded in San Rafael, California at the Allegiant Studio, mixed and mastered by Jonathan Burnside and engineered by Danny Uzilevsky. It’s a rhythmic piece, but despite it sounds happy and optimistic, its lyrics paint a different picture of heartbreak and pain. There are some hauntingly beautiful lines in “Mick Jagger’s Heart”, my favorite one being “I might be crazy…/A little bit insane/All I see is poetry when you/ look at me this way”.

This song already has a video that was directed by Jeanne Jo. Other people responsible for the creation are the cinematographer Sean McDaniel and the creative producer Roxanne Teti. In it we see Jason Vanderford and his beloved walk around the San Francisco streets. We also witness his pain after their breakup when she has found someone else. It’s a bittersweet video with beautiful scenes and acting.

After the great “Mick Jagger’s Heart”, all we can do is eagerly wait for the rest of the album and hope it’ll reach the bar that was set high with this single!


by Christina Vukova

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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