JUke: Live & Fired
JUke were birthed in the neon glow of Miami, but listening to their down and dirty post-blues, they sound more akin to the Spanish moss-covered swamps of the Southeast. Their new live release, Live & Fired, is best paired with hot weather, some sort of fried seafood and a liquor-drenched concoction in a mason jar; in the words of frontman Eric Garcia on the album’s second track: “Now that I’ve tasted blood, now this wine seems too thin.” Garcia and his harmonica act as JUke’s centerpiece for most of this highoctane release—also featuring guitarist Sonny East, bassist Marcel Salas and drummer Korian Hannah—and the band’s rollicking rockabilly vibes permeate Live & Fired to an infectious degree. Each member shines on the over 14-minute, John Lee Hookerinspired “Burning Hell,” taking one solo after another. It’s impressive how JUke always manage to find their groove, and the rhythm section in particular— Hannah with his machine-gun snare drum and Salas with his space-age bass work—might as well leap from your sound system into your living room. The entire LP was recorded at The Wynwood Yard in Miami, a venue where Garcia was working as a booking agent. The singer/harmonicist has since been let go, inspiring the record’s tongue-in-cheek yet entirely accurate title, Live & Fired . It’s a rock-and-roll story from front to back, just four guys playing loud and proud. “Everything I play, goin’ be funky from now on,” Garcia trumpets halfway through the album. As long as JUke keep that promise, they’ll be burning down stages for a long time to come.