Stuck inside of Bev's with the Serbian blues again
As far as Ana Popovic's career is concerned, history is definitely in the making. Not only is the Serbian-born blues sensation's third solo studio album, "Still Making History," a polished genre-blurring affair, but she is currently remixing it w...
As far as Ana Popovic's career is concerned, history is definitely in the making.
Not only is the Serbian-born blues sensation's third solo studio album, "Still Making History," a polished genre-blurring affair, but she is currently remixing it with multi-platinum producer Rudy "Mayru" Maya in Los Angeles.
In a phone interview from Indianapolis Tuesday, Popovic described what it was like working with Mayru, who is perhaps best known for his production credits on Rihanna's 2005 debut "Music of the Sun."
"That was really great," said the singer, who now calls Holland home. "We're still waiting on a final mix, but what I've heard has been really nice. I really liked it."
The danceable, pop-oriented edition of "Still Making History" could definitely do a lot for Popovic's career when it drops this fall; not to jinx anything, but one of the last artists to attempt such an endeavor, Colombian artist Shakira (who was born just a couple months after Popovic) is, by all accounts, an international star these days.
But that's not something that concerns Popovic. While she is excited to dabble in a more populist genre -- Popovic said it's the kind of record she could dance to with her friends in Europe's discotheques -- right now she's concerned about her current tour and putting on good shows for those who come out to hear the music of "Still Making History" in its original incarnation.
Not that that album sticks to any one genre or anything, though.
"I chose John Porter for a producer because he's really good with different styles," Popovic said about the über-producer, who's worked with everyone from blues artists like B.B. King and John Lee Hooker to Ryan Adams and the Smiths. "This (album) is different types of music played with respect to the genre. I really love to be able to switch as a guitar player between blues and jazz-fusion and rock, because each of these styles needs to be played completely different.
"... It's really a challenge as a guitar player to completely change between sounds and styles, (but) those are just different sides of me, because I love different kinds of music. I am inspired by different players, so this is like every song is different: there's light and there's funk guitar and there's some fusion stuff and there is blues, obviously."
While touring across America is usually no sweat for Popovic -- she's been doing it for more than five years -- this outing is a little different for the guitarist: On May 5, she and her boyfriend welcomed into the world Luuk ("Luke" in English), her first child.
Needless to say, the tour bus needs room for one more these days.
"That's all new to everyone," Popovic joked.
However, she was quick to point out that Luuk's a "real friendly baby" and that she hasn't had any problems so far.
Help's never too far away, either, as her mother and boyfriend have both been chipping in.
Also adding to the success of this massive juggling act is the fact that Popovic has a solid backing band she's comfortable sharing the stage with.
"They're all very good musicians; I'm enjoying playing with them a lot," she said, mentioning that Hammond organist James Pace is an American, and drummer Dion Murdock (actually an American expatriate) and bassist Ronald Jonker live in Europe like herself.
Popovic credits her father (a fellow musician) with her love of American blues, as that is just about the only thing he listened to during her formative years.
"I was singing these songs way before I could understand what they were singing about," she said, adding that she's never actually written a song in her native Serbian language. "I really feel like that's my music and ... because I started so early listening to that and singing with my dad and on jam sessions and everything, it feels very natural to me."
NEWS TO USE
Ana Popovic will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, July 4, at Bev's Jook Joint in Superior. Cost TBA. For details, call (715) 392-3580 or visit www.anapopovic.com .