20th Anniversary of Bad Ju Ju

The songs of Bad Ju Ju were written when I was in mourning. Mourning the death of a close friend who was murdered, the breakup of my first band Zola Turn and the ending of a significant romantic relationship – and trying to make some sense of it all with my 20-something brain. I listened to the album today for the first time in many years. My younger self worked passionately on Bad Ju Ju for three years+ and promptly burned out once it was released in July 2021. A few months later was September 11th and things would never be the same.

I love the unique sound the band accomplished – Shawn Roberts, Aram Bedrosian, Eric Sonoda, Gretchen Leisenring, special guest Nelson Caldwell and sound engineer and producer Peter Engisch. The live band included Marshall Pierce and Sean Altrui. Later, the love of my life Ken Mills accompanied me for local gigs. I still don’t know how to categorize our sound, in SoundCloud I called it “Disco” which it definitely is not but it isn’t any of the other categories either. A special shoutout to Shawn Roberts whose sophisticated sense of percussion provided this album with a sense of timelessness.

Matt Thorsen, Don O’Connell and Michael Sipe contributed photography to the album artwork.

If you’d like a copy of the CD (that includes all album art) I’m giving them away, just send me an email at jennkarson@studiojuju.com with your address and for the cost of postage I’ll send you as many as you want – share them with friends! Better it be with you than in a box in my closet.

Most things in my life are very different from how they were at the time this album was released. However three things have remained the same: my creative work remains central in my life, this website has the same domain name it did back then, and my cat Ava is still with us, she’ll turn 21 in July 2021.

There are too many reasons to list here for why I left the performing arts and put all my energy into the fine arts – but through the production of this album I learned to love the studio far more than smokey bars, it was a quiet place that allowed for devotion to texture and experimentation.

Band photos taken for the album. Ava is pictured here, too.
Shawn Roberts, Aram Bedrosian
Shawn Roberts, Eric Sonoda
Peter Engisch
Aram Bedrosian
Shawn Roberts
Jenn Karson
Jenn Karson, Shawn Roberts, Sean Alrui, Marshall Pierce.