OK, so it's a little bold to start out your recording career with a song like Penises and Vaginas, but no one has put gender equality sentiments out there in more direct and tangible words than Jaia Suri and that's just what she does in all her songs throughout this album, LUNA-TIC and all her subsequent recordings.
"I learned to sing and play guitar in adolescence
because the days and the nights wanted me to extend
them past school work, past friends, past lovers,
past reason, past the four walls of the room, past
any tangible evidence of boredom. I learned to play
banjo years later because they're just so cool!"
Jaia Suri, (pronounced Jy-Ah Sue-Ree) grew up in Northern California. Since June 2001, Jaia has toured nationally across the US & Canada. People have listened and loved. Others ignored and drank beer. She's shocked Nashville with slide banjo, playing percussively in mysterious and vaguely eastern tunings. She's played small towns that smell like fertilizer and big cities that smell like industry. She's
knocked up dust with her foot-strapped tambourine, in woody
sky-lit rooms. She's encountered angels dressed in street clothes. She's opened her mouth very wide, in very narrow rooms. She's played to babies in bellies...
She's learned a lot more about diesel engines and the many colorful variations of kitchen grease pits, than she ever wanted to. (She runs her truck on used kitchen grease). She's broken down and been transformed,
transfixed and transmuted in more than a dozen states. She's lucked out and lucked in, and when she thinks about it all, it's strange and beautiful, and she sees no reason to stop now.
Her three independent releases (Luna-tic, 2001, Truck Stop Gypsy, 2002, and Fire in the Archives, 2003) have moved people and received praise from numerous music magazines, including Sing Out and Performing Songwriter. Listeners detect flavors of Joni Mitchell, Ani Difranco, and Tracy Chapman, along with sub-textures of blues, jazz, classical, Indian, and Asian that have rubbed
off on her along the way.
"Mystery and music, for me, are very much the same. Although
I did delve briefly into the realms of classical guitar and
the teachings of Ali Akbar Khan, I've avoided extensive formal training because I like the mystery so much. I invent new tunings often for this same reason. I've learned to trust the sense of mystery I have with music. It has a freedom to it that is fresh."