In mid-November 2007 the musicians of Blinded By View headed for a remote wilderness area in high country Arizona. Invited by Jetsunma, who was on a semi-retreat at the Ellinwood Ranch, the idea was to record a blues song she had written. Off the grid, miles from the nearest neighbor and an hour on dirt roads from civilization, finding a place to record was challenging. BBV decided on an enclosed area of the 1890’s rustic barn situated on the ranch property.
Something about the metal roof and seasoned wood created a perfect acoustical space, just right for the blues. What began as one song quickly developed into a fifteen-day musical retreat. Day and night Jetsunma poured forth lyrics and BBV laid down the first rough tracks. The total musical immersion produced 12 songs and the latest album entitled Ellinwood Ranch Blues.
Jetsunma’s vocals, one part earthy and emotional, two parts smokey and sultry combine with her powerful lyrics. Her trademark universal messages are found throughout the album on songs such as the sweet sorrowful sound of Could’ve Been A Miracle, the upbeat jam out session with wailing sax and trumpet trading solos on Hey Baby, and the soaring string quartet on Fly Away. Soprano Tara Middleton appears again in this album blending her high-energy vocals in accompaniment with Jetsunma’s deep powerful voice.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jetsunma has vivid memories of her neighborhood filled with raw, visceral, from-the-soul music. She remembers the locals having spontaneous jams and callouts in the streets and on the stoops. She calls it getting to the “belly” of the music – where you really listen to it and it changes you. Her early influences – Etta James, Mary Wells, Ruth Brown, and Koko Taylor still play a part in how she feels and expresses her music today.
Upon returning to the Blinded By View studio in Maryland, the final tracking and finishing touches took place and the result is Ellinwood Ranch Blues.