SXSW 2010 Quick Hits, Day 1: Jonneine Zapata

Ms. Zapata’s name caught my eye when I saw it on the grid. It’s not often you find an artist who shares a surname with legendary Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata (who also begat the modern day Zapatista rebels of Chiapas.) I walked up Red River to the Red Eyed Fly and discovered that the venue has a great little outdoor stage in the back. The set was a treat, with the Los Angeles-based Zapata backed by a full band and displaying a powerful voice that at times recalled another great LA female rocker, Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde. One tune started off slow and almost meditative before building into a hard-edged riff rocker with Zapata really belting it out. It’s no surprise to see her album is titled Cast the Demons Out, as Zapata seemed like a tortured soul at times. But watching her channel that energy into the music was compelling. “Burn” was a muted-riff rocker, while “Cowboy” also had an aggressive sound before breaking down into a deep well of bluesy feedback.

Jonneine Zapata
Photo by Tiffany Kyees


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