Jon Wahl and the Amadans are an art-rock-country-jazzoid group from Los Angeles. They perform a musical potpourri of nonsensical ballads, waltzes, grooves, oddness and noise; a general musical and lyrical attitude from the hearts of country outlaws like Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson to mindwarpers like The Residents and weirdo crooners like the early era Roxy Music or, who knows, Bing Crosby???... Live they're simply a trio. They used to bloat up to an octet but the trio allows for gnarlier dynamics?high to low, soft to harsh, weirdo to garden variety.
Let me tell you all it?s not easy being a serious performer in Los Angeles; a city so swarmed with camera hungry egos and look-at-me personalities, a city crammed with hoards of new residents daily and countless new rock groups inspired by nothing more than high fashion photo ops and goofy music videos. One winds up hiding in the shadowy dive clubs not to be noticed instead. And there's a certain amount of vindication in that living a life of relative obscurity in a city so full of oafs. Anyway, that?s exactly where Jon Wahl and the Amadans fit in (incidentally, ?amadan? is ?idiot? in Gaelic? a language that has absolutely no real meaning in Los Angeles, though a massive melting pot it is).
In the recent past, Jon Wahl fronted Claw Hammer?an L.A. based group that released seven albums back in the nineties (four with Sympathy for the Records Industry, one with Epitaph and two with Interscope). They managed to chalk up purdy dang good career of noisy and sweaty Beefheart influenced rock. That ended and Jon moved on with the Amadans. Originally, he took it down a few notches sonically and softened up the voice and swerved far to the left, at times, in the eccentric category, but as time unfolds, newer tunes are geared up again sonically? at times sounding like mangled country-jazz-blues.
The other musicians are Claw Hammer?s ex-drummer, Bob Lee (who?d also been touring regularly with the venerable Mike Watt) and bassist Steve Reed. Steve?s a top notch, in the pocket electric bassist who?s been playing in and around Los Angeles since the true days of funk in the early seventies.
So far they got two CDs out there in the world of music. One called Sour Suite on Birdman Records (www.birdmanrecords.com) and another called Iron Nails Run In on an extreeeeeeeeeemly obscure label called Rudek Records (this you can order pretty much only online at www.rudekrecords.com). And more and more stuff on the way?just as soon as someone has the heart and wallet to help.