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Roqueiro na contramão

Eduardo Bastos
When the subject is music, the most unexpected things can happen. For example: An American singer and guitarist came to record a rock CD on the axè land with some native musicians. He is Joel Justin and he has a great curriculum with famous pop, rock and soul stars. Frontman for the Mad Ants, a powerhouse rock band from Chicago, based in groups like AC/DC, Joel came to Bahia three years ago and liked it so much he came back to record his solo CD titled, “4/4” which he plans to promote here.

“My music needed a new rhythm and here is the best place for this,” says Justin. “4/4” isn’t full of axè swing, although Peu Meurray played on seven of the 13 tracks. It was recorded with rock baiano musicians like the group Retrofoguetes, keyboardist Andre T. of Carlinos Brown, and drummer Guimo Mingoya from Argentina. “I wanted to record here because of the inborn rhythms. If I wanted just Rock and Roll I would have stayed in the US. I wanted new things. Different people.”

“4/4” is more pop than Mad Ants, but it rocks hard AC/DC style on tracks like, “Your Everything” and ‘The Liberty Station.” There is also the influence of soul music heard in songs like “I don’t know about love, anymore” and Beatle influences found in “The Window” and “Hey, Hey it’s me.”
Joel recently performed with axè celebrity Margaret Menezes at the globally televised Trofel Caymmi awards ceremony. He’s made shows at The ISBA Theater, Calypso Heniken Station, and most recently to a fanatic crowd at the famed Bonfim party.

Joel Justin started composing music at the age of fourteen and was performing professionally by the age of eighteen. Mad Ants began their recording career in 1987 and developed a large following throughout the 90’s. On breaks from their shows and recording schedule, Joel would hit the road as a fill-in lead singer or guitarist for other well-known groups. He has also engineered and produced the sound for artists like B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and the pop metal group Poison. In 1995 he relocated to Los Angeles where he wrote and recorded music for a Stephen King film, for pay per-view television, national television commercials, and several Hollywood movies.

Now Joel wants to do the inverse of all other international recording artists. “I first want to promote my “4/4” CD in Brazil then go to the world,” he says with good humor. As of this writing the album is on its way to the record company.

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