Premiere: Johnette Napolitano, ‘Riding the Moon’


johnettenEver since she stood in front of a mic three decades ago in the embryonic stages of Concrete Blonde, Johnette Napolitano has had one of those stop-you-in-your-tracks voices, a quaver that commands, or challenges, or suggests, or sometimes all three at once. Now ensconced in the desert, the songwriter/artist/author/provocateur is culling years of songs, old and news. ”I’ve known for years I would want to record an acoustic record, but that there would be a place in time to do it and I think it’s a good time,” she says. “So I’m looking through 30 years of songs, obviously CB songs originally written acoustically, covers, songs I’ve worked on for films, unreleased songs, and new songs.” The new tune “Riding the Moon” features an assist from Flamenco LA (Benjamin Woods) and is likely to turn up in her set later this month when she plays a rare show at the Hotel Cafe, where she will perform a stripped-down set and do a reading from her book “Rough Mix.” “Riding the Moon,” with its stripped-down arrangement, strings and Spanish guitar, is bloodletting of a wholly different but still powerful kind.

||| Stream: “Riding the Moon”

||| Live: Johnette Napolitano performs June 23 at the Hotel Cafe.