2020 album. Blues. Ruf Records.
Enough manufactured pop princesses. The 26 year old, Croatian born, Vanja Sky is the real deal: a fire voiced blues-rock gunslinger, armed with a troublemaking new album of modern classics. Building on the momentum, ‘Woman Named Trouble’ debuts eight original songs penned by Sky with guitarist Robert Wendt, plus three classic covers - and a fistful of attitude.
We’ve already seen the Croatian-born bandleader blow up Ruf’s 2018 Blues Caravan with songs from that year’s acclaimed ‘Bad Penny’ album. Now, Sky returns with a hard-rocking second release that dares you to be her partnerin- crime. “If you asked people close to me,” she says, with a mischievous grin, “they’d say ‘Woman Named Trouble’ is describing me.”
For heavy riffage, try opener “Rock ‘N’ Rolla Train”, complete with a bee-in-abottle lick worthy of Angus Young’s playbook, and “Turn It On”, whose vicious intro breaks into a seductive vocal. But Sky and Wendt’s songcraft goes far beyond blues-rock. Myriad genres are explored here, from the gorgeous Stonesy country-blues chime of “Hard Times”, to “What’s Going On’s” leap into trilling folk, and the mesmerising bass-led funk of “Troublemaker”. Elsewhere, there’s the stormy “Voodoo Mama” and the heartache of “Call Me If You Need Me”, while the rockabilly rave-up of “Let’s Go Wild” will make you do precisely that.
Still just 26, Vanja Sky’s early career has been just as wild. From dive bars and dead-ends to headline tours and supports with the mighty UFO, the highlights since 2017 would make that young Croatian gunslinger pinch herself. Now, ‘Woman Named Trouble’ leaves no doubt there’s plenty more trouble to come. “Besides being tons of fun to make,” she reflects, “I think we did a great job with the music. I’m very proud of this album...”
Tracklisting: Rock ‘n’ Rolla Train / Hard Times / Turn It On / Life Is A Bitch / Trouble Maker / What’s Going On / Call Me If You Need Me / Let’s Get Wild / Oh Well / Voodoo Mama / Shadow Play