Origin: Hollywood, California
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Johnette Napolitano is an American singer, songwriter and bassist best known as the lead vocalist/songwriter and bassist for the alternative rock group Concrete Blonde. Johnette and guitarist James Mankey got together in Los Angeles in 1982 and began recording and released a single under the name Dreamers.
When they signed with I.R.S. Records in 1986, label mate Michael Stipe suggested the name Concrete Blonde, describing the contrast between their hard rock music and introspective lyrics. They were joined by drummer Harry Rushakoff on their self-named debut album, Concrete Blonde.
Later that year Concrete Blonde dropped their first album and added a second guitarist, Alan Bloch. The band issued their second disc, Free, in 1989, which contained the college radio hit, “God Is A Bullet.”
Album number three, Bloodletting, let loose in 1990 with Roxy Music’s drummer, Paul Thompson, replacing Rushakoff. The album was certified gold and its single, “Joey” became their most successful single, peaking at #19 and spent 21 weeks on the Billboard Top 100.
Two disappointing albums later, Napolitano dissolved the band in 1993. The 90’s were turbulent times for record companies and artists who made great music while their labels merged with one another and supportive managers shuffled office spaces.
The unit reunited on occasion but the final nail in the coffin was announced by Napolitano in June, 2006. As she stated in her announcement, “Music lives on. Keep listening. Keep believing, keep dreaming. Like a ripple, the music moves and travels and finds you. Drive to the music, Make love to the music, cry to the music. That’s why we made it. Long after we’re gone the music will still be there.”
Music that strong doesn’t disappear easily. Since 2006, Concrete Blonde’s songs continued to appear in many movies and tv shows. In 2012, the band released the single “Rosalie” with the b-side “I Know the Ghost.” In December 2012, the band engaged in a small tour of nine cities, mostly on the east coast of the U.S.
Napolitano kept quite busy after Concrete Blonde’s farewell during this time and through the 2000’s: recording an album with a band called Pretty & Twisted; another with a Chicano punk band and a variety of solo albums. Napolitano also provided narration for a video, composed music for two movies and other ventures.
Now, she’s released a new single, “Crib Girl,” and it could be the title to her forthcoming album. K-ZAP 93.3 FM is happily spinning this new single and find it also on our stream, K-ZAP.ORG/LISTEN/.
Or hear Johnette’s tune in the video below.
Johnette Napolitano and Holly Vincent “Vowel Movement” (1995)
Pretty & Twisted (1995)
Johnette Napolitano and Buzz Gamble “Cheap Tequila” (Single)(2004)
Sketchbook 2 (2005)
Sketchbook 3 (2009)
The Naked Album (2015)
“Crib Girl” (single)(2017)
With Concrete Blonde
Concrete Blonde (1986)
Walking in London (1992)
Mexican Moon (1993)
Concrete Blonde y Los Illegals (1997) collaboration with Los Illegals
Group Therapy (2002)