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Marissa Guzman: Joy Road album review.


Born and raised in Detroit, Marissa Guzman grew up immersed in music and art. Her late father, percussionist Eddie Guzman, was on the Motown label in the group Rare Earth; and her mother, Barbara, who is Jewish, is a painter and interior designer.

Marissa Guzman currently runs her own record label, Juicy Lucy Records, and has just released her debut album, Joy Road. The album is 100 percent produced and arranged by Guzman.

As stated in her bio, Guzman has a strong passion for writing (she majored in journalism in college) and music. She landed her first job in advertising, working for the Ford Motor Co. In her spare time, Marissa pursued her true passion: music. She started writing vocal tracks for instrumental house tracks and along the way became friends with legendary Detroit techno producer Derrick May.

It was May who steered her in the direction of starting her own record label to get her music out there. She started her label in 2007, and her mom gave it the name Juicy Lucy Records.

Due to the struggling economy in Michigan, Guzman was laid off from her job at Ford and was forced to look for job opportunities out of state. She landed a job in San Francisco, a hub for artistic creativity.

Sometimes you end up in the right place at the right time, and the pieces come together.

After a spiritual retreat, Guzman realized she needed to make music her priority.

Her debut album, Joy Road, travels in waves of sultry and sweet with a bit of sass. It has a strong base in electronic composition but is not limited to a strictly electronic sound. The songs on the album range from electro-pop and down-tempo to house and more.

The album is 11 tracks of very visceral and pure musical enjoyment.

The first track on the album, “Free To Be,” opens up with a head-nodding beat into which the vocals flow seamlessly.

The second track, “Song for Eddie G,” starts in with acoustic guitar that segues into mellow percussion and is a tribute to Guzman’s father.

In 2011, Black Coffee Band’s remix of “Time To Go,” the first single off the album, went straight to No. 1 on Traxsource.com.

It’s a song about a relationship gone wrong but also could refer to Guzman’s decision to leave Detroit to follow her musical passion on the West Coast.

Joy Road wraps up with the very upbeat “Magic Door,” which has a nice dance-groove feeling to it.

This is an album that will appeal to a number of musical palates.

Fifty percent of the album proceeds will benefit NextAid, which supports sustainable development projects that serve vulnerable children, youth and women in Africa.

Also on the horizon, Guzman will be featured in the upcoming documentary Girls Gone Vinyl, about women in the electronic music business.

Detroit-area Jewish DJ Jenny La Femme is producing the film. For more info on the documentary, visit
girlsgonevinyl.com.

For more info on Marissa Guzman, visit juicylucyrecords.com.

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