Finding Inspiration and Love In all the Weird and Right Places…
A trend had emerged in the music industry early in the golden era of record production, one that focused on producing music for profit, rather than for enrichment of the spirit and soul. And while this has carried on until today, luckily there are always exceptions to the rule. And this exception is named Ishto Juevez.
Far too often when listening to music, we immediately begin to do two things: Identify the genre of music, and then look for the nearest example of what we’re hearing, a similar artist to describe the melodies or similar singers to describe inflection. It is not anyone’s fault, certainly everyone at some point has said “This is the new Radiohead” or “This guy is the new Dylan.” Once in awhile, though, there comes an artist that just breaks that mold and leaves you wondering “What is this magic and why have I never heard it before?”
That is the best way to describe Ishto’s music to anyone who has not been fortunate enough to spend time at one of his intimate shows or gotten the chance to watch his live recordings. Immediately, that way of thinking grinds to a complete stop as you can’t help but think “This is different, this is something else.” And you would certainly be right.
Istho combines so many different genres, rhythms and influences, it’s hard to pin down what exactly you’re listening to, but a few notes in, the realization that naming it doesn’t matter because named or not, it drives deep into your soul and takes a seat. In fact, it doesn’t only take a seat in your soul, it lights a cigarette, cracks a beer, and offers to share stories.
Behind the madness of music and sound is a man as interesting as the music he plays. Spending a few moments watching Ishto, it is hard not to see that this man not only was born to play a guitar but loves doing it. That combination of love and talent, with a healthy dose of eclectic influence, creates something music lovers the world over can appreciate: Authenticity. There is no beating around the bush, when you watch Ishto play, you are witnessing something unique and truly special.
As he shifts from complex chord to complex chord in a timing reminiscent of his classic Latin influence with such ease, it is easy to forget that despite the smiles and the laughs, you are watching some serious talent go down right in front of you.
Hidden behind the playful way he picks chords and strums the often jazzy beat he employs, lays complexity not readily seen on music so fun and upbeat. It’s almost as if there was no other way for Ishto to play but from the heart, but within that heart lies some serious guitar chops.
If you are unfamiliar with Ishto and his music, then you are depriving yourself of an opportunity to experience what music truly is, pure individualistic expression with no filler. There are no planned hooks and pandering lyrics, just a level of authenticity not always present in mainstream music.
And for a man as talented as Ishto, it is a bit surprising that his name has not been added to the list of great artists that have come before him. Though that honor is certainly to come as his passion and contagious chords changes capture everyone’s attention, leaving you wanting to never stop.
I can only hope that he will continue to be as proliferous in the future as he has so far. And if his already extensive catalogue of music is any indication of the depth of his personal well of inspiration, there will quite a bit of magic coming this way. If you haven’t already treated yourself to the joy of watching Ishto play guitar, then visit his YouTube channel. You’re welcome.