As much as we’ve seen styles change over the past few decades within our current blues genre, it’s frustrating that many of the blues creators we see don’t vary in general characteristics. In an older, mostly male-dominated blues world, there seems to be few oddball types of pioneers that redefine the ‘modern’ blues genre, that possess elements of instrumental mastery as well as superb songwriting chops. More specifically, there just doesn’t seem to be enough young people in the blues genre whatsoever.
Enter Jocelyn and Chris Arndt.
As early adults and siblings, Jocelyn and Chris share a creative blood. They are unapologetic with their entrance into listener’s speakers in their recently-released sophomore album, Go. Chris Arndt is a powerful songwriting force on all twelve tracks of the album, delivering piercing guitar riffs that are precise, yet purposefully sluggish as a means to flirt with his listeners. Many of his melodic lines are the forefront of song creation, that can be especially noticeable in songs like “History” and “Red Stops Traffic.”
Only to balance the sound (without overshadowing the existing space) is Jocelyn Arndt, whose lyrics paint several pictures we can all relate to, in tracks such as their uplifting ode to dreams “Footprints on the Moon,” and desolate lullaby “Bad Business.” More apparent than her story is Jocelyn’s extroverted voice, that commands the room by presenting listeners with a delicate, soothing head voice to contrast an assertive, powerful chest voice, and then back, with a complete sense of ease and elegance.
While they have the support of a full band on this album (occasionally featuring members of Gov’t Mule and Kung Fu), Jocelyn and Chris maintain a unified sound that doesn’t need any backing. They have the freedom to do this by choice, and only being in their early stages speaks volumes as to what their future may bring for blues music, both as performers and songwriters.
While their tour is nearing its final stops, Jocelyn and Chris will make one more visit to New York on July 6 at the Mercury Lounge. You can buy tickets and follow their happenings on the artist website.
Key Tracks: Footprints on the Moon, Red Stops Traffic, History