Jenny and the Mexicats
I can’t help but relate the music I hear to what I see going on in the world. I cringe at the folks yelling to “build the wall” or ban the Muslims. I mention this because Jenny and the Mexicats are a great example of the cool things that can happen when you allow the free movement of people and ideas. An English trumpet player and singer travels to Spain with an orchestra and meets a couple of Mexican musicians playing in a Flamenco band in Madrid. Despite what people like Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage, would have you believe, good things can happen when people from different backgrounds become friends. In the case of Jenny Ball and friends, they start creating music together. You’ve got a multicultural, multi-lingual musical collaborative. They’ve lived in Spain and the UK and are now based in Mexico.
Jenny Ball is the voice of the band. Although she didn’t speak Spanish when the band started, she’s learned to speak, sing and write in her adopted language. “La diabla” has a shuffling Cuban rhythm that demands folks get up and dance. “Amplifier” has a laid-back samba/reggae groove while “Fantomas” has a gentle flamenco feel. “Why Why”, with its light swinging rhythms and English language lyrics would be a good summer jam.
Jenny and the Mexicats have concentrated on building their audience in Europe and Latin America. They have crossed the border into the US for shows at SXSW and around the southwest. I’d like to see them getting more exposure here in the USA. While I tend to pile on social significance wherever I can, Jenny and the Mexicats are really a party band. They’re not too rowdy; they’re just here to have fun.