Michigan was home to one of my favourite record labels 'Fenton Record' and is also home to one of the greatest rock n roll sounds of America. Mid-60s' Michigan produced a wealth of great teen-beat bands who were inspired by the British Invasion and created a very unique garage sound which is still pretty unnoticed amongst 60s garage fans. Many of the groups who came from Michigan and had records released on 'Fenton' particularly are now deemed lost classics to fans of the genre the world over, I myself am highly inspired by such groups and the Michigan "sound".
One such band who rank high up there in my opinion, is the JuJu's.
I recently purchased the newly compiled 1964-67 JuJu's collection and I have to say it is an absolute delight that the music on this record has survived and been made available to the public, the LP is a great insight into a teenage group of the mid 60s.
The Juju's are responsible for creating the teenage genius which was their 45rpm single 'You Treated Me Bad', the said song is a huge influence to my own music, if you listen closely to my own songs, you may hear that I am highly influenced by the guitar playing style, especially from JuJu's songs such as 'You Treated Me Bad' and 'Do You Understand Me' (the latter unfortunately not featuring on this LP collection.
The JuJu's were -
Ray Hummel III - Vocals, guitars and harmonica (also main songwriter)
Max Colley Jr. - Tenor Sax, backing vocals.
Rod Shepard - Bass, Lead Guitar, backing vocals
Bill Gorski - Drums
Rick Stevens - Lead Guitar
The JuJu's formed in 1964 in the Grand Rapids area of Michigan, Grand Rapids was a rather hip place to be during the 60s, many great teen bands played and came from there.
The album is a great insight into a teenage group of that era, the LP is compiled by Ray Hummel III himself and much of the songs on the LP are rare unheard tapes from Hummel's own private collection, the album features a fantastic booklet with interesting reading into the band's history not to mention commentary by Ray Hummel.
The music on the album is a really really great listening experience, when you listen to this record especially with tracks like 'Hey Little Girl' demo and the band's rather crass version of 'Summertime', you instantly get transported back to a school dance held inside a school gymnasium in mid 1965.
What I like about this collection is hearing the influenced transition between that of 50s rock n roll a'la Buddy Holly, Doo-Wop etc and the British Invasion of The Beatles et al, this album beautifully makes available the sounds of a band who were stuck in between the past sounds of American Rock n Roll and the then current influences coming from across the pond.
Ray Hummel III was a great vocalist and songwriter whowrote class songs, which thankfully have been graced here on LP for the many to hear.
The album is a good addition to anyone who like's 60s garage or rock n roll's record collection.
You can purchase the album here - THE JUJU's (Please Click) (whilst you're there you can also pick up my records - they are JuJu's inspired) - I am warning you it is limited to only 450 copies, so get them while they are still here.
Please take a listen to The JuJu's monsterous and killer track 'You Treated Me Bad' of which I got outbidded on ebay last year by $20, had that last buyer not outbid, I'd have owned this 45.... DAMN!!