BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups

St. Louis' Premier Jazz & Blues Club

Ghalia Volt


May 26 2024


7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Joshua Tree, California. A place where rock ‘n’ roll mythology is made, for better and worse. It was under these same burnished skies that Gram Parsons’ stolen body was set ablaze. Where U2 announced their bid for global infamy. And as Ghalia Volt reminds us, exactly thirty years ago, it was here that near-mythical producer and Queens Of The Stone Age conspirator David Catching founded the fabled Rancho De La Luna studio that would bring a stream of dust-blown musicians to his door like moths to a candle.

“Going to the desert to record Shout Sister Shout! with David Catching was something unique,” says the acclaimed Belgian singer-songwriter of her latest album that adds its own thumbprint to the Rancho De La Luna legend. “I have so many memories. Being on top of the hills facing the Joshua Tree Park. The stars, the moon, the coyote howls, the old vintage car that sat in front of the studio. And then, the history of Rancho De La Luna and all the rock ‘n’ roll neighbours. You just never know who’s gonna push the door…”

Driving deep into the desert put a few more miles on the clock of a young nomad who has made the world her home. Six years have passed since Volt quit the busking circuit of her native Brussels for the heady throb of New Orleans, where she made her first ripples as the livewire frontwoman of local heroes Mama’s Boys.

That hook-up led to Volt’s acclaimed debut album Let The Demons Out (declared “an irresistible force” by Classic Rock) and to Volt’s next stepping stone, to the hill country of Coldwater, Mississippi, for sessions with the Southern state’s Cody Dickinson, Watermelon Slim and Cedric Burnside on 2019’s Mississippi Blend. That album saw Volt dubbed “a natural-born star” by Henry Yates (NME, Classic Rock, The Guardian) and broke into the Billboard Blues Chart Top 3 on three separate occasions.

Even Covid couldn’t clip her wings, with the fierce multi-instrumentalist writing songs for her project on a month-long Amtrak train journey that carved across America, before loading up her van for solo shows. “I surfed the waves,” she reflects. “If it was bad in Europe, I’d tour in the States. If it was bad in the South, I’d go to the northern Midwest. One Woman Band opened lots of doors, let me play the biggest stages yet. But Shout Sister Shout! is my best material so far.”

This album simply wouldn’t have sounded the same without the desert seeping into her bones and Rancho De La Luna casting its strange spell. Perhaps most famous for hosting Josh Homme’s collaborative Desert Sessions, (since 1993) this studio has added its bewitching vibe to recordings by the likes of Iggy Pop, Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters, and PJ Harvey, all of them greeted by Catching with a glass of home-made mezcal and invited to fall into the laid-back rhythm.