Izzy's Still Smokin'Right now seems as good a time as any to bring you up to speed on erstwhile Guns N’ Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin.
Of course you know Izzy left the Gunners in late 1991 to pursue other interests. He released his debut solo album, Izzy Stradlin & the Ju Ju Hounds within a short time of leaving G n’ R, seemingly disappeared for six years, then released a second solo effort in 1998.
The next year, Izzy released the Japan-only Ride On, followed in (relatively) quick succession by two more albums, both released on independent labels. Since then, Izzy has stuck to Internet-only releases, supported by a small but loyal fan base.
His latest disk, Smoke, was released last November with no real media attention, but a lot of excitement from Izzy’s fans: Comments such as “Simply Izzy.... signature,” and “guaranteed Izzy, nothing more, nothing less,” were posted on the ChopAway Website following the album’s release.
I haven’t listened to any new Izzy Stradlin music in probably 10 years. Once in a while I’ll pull out the Ju Ju Hounds disk, which I love, and give that a spin. And I’ve always appreciated Izzy’s serious Ron Wood influence. In fact, if memory serves, they actually did a song together many years ago. Smoke picks up where I left off with Izzy 10 years ago. He still plays bluesy rock ‘n’ roll and still flaunts his Stones influence. With no industry suits breathing down his neck, Izzy is free to make the music he and his fans enjoy. Sometimes it's refreshing to hear something that hasn't changed to suit the times.
To my knowledge, Smoke is available only through iTunes, although some of his older albums are on Amazon.