The core of Iggy T and the Crazymakers is Sarah Todd and David Franz, a cross-genre duo out of Ojai, CA, who pull from strong roots in soul, blues, and rock. Their songs excavate the self and the soul, and their particular combination of soul, rock, and blues makes you feel like a plant that’s just been watered…with whisky: sated and saucy, all on a sultry night.
Influenced by the likes of Alabama Shakes, Amy Winehouse, The Black Keys, and Al Green, they blend traditional soul elements with a modern, beat-driven groove. The result is Eden-fresh; the feeling is like standing over a garden sprinkler in a skirt on a hot Tuesday.
Todd and Franz work together intensely, collaborating tightly and intuitively with an ease they have each searched for their whole lives. Iggy T and The Crazymakers has one shadow, not two. The sense they seem to have about this musical partnership is one of giddying gratitude marked with a profound urgency to mine the creative seam they've uncovered. They co-write both their music and lyrics, and their contradictions make for a beguiling musical tension. Self- described as ordinary people on a journey of awakening expressed through music, they value acceptance, love, discipline, and willingness to surrender to the creative force.
Todd’s voice can swing arrestingly from unstudied sweetness to powerful Winehouse-esque soul but with something flinty and commanding in it - like Bambi with piercings and an old soul; peach cobbler with a bullet in it. With little patience for ersatz world-weariness, her enthusiasm and insistence on keeping things real and honest, casting the ego aside in service to the sound, and growing in self-discovery is, nowadays, refreshing in a way that feels unique. In an industry as egocentric, jaded, and cynical as the music business, this is an energizing, fertile approach, with a clear musical vision. If, as Frederico Fellini famously said “The visionary is the only true realist,” Iggy T and the Crazymakers has envisioned and developed an m.o. and a sound that marries happily to its philosophy of keeping it real.
Franz, a celebrated musical polymath, owns and operates “Underground Sun,” the label which shot singer Iyeoka to fame. Franz shares a wry, dry sense of humor with Todd but operates with no less enthusiasm for the creative maelstrom they’ve whipped up between themselves. When they talk about the process of it, they’re like a pair of botanists discussing a newly discovered orchid. Franz’s long experience as a session multi-instrumentalist and producer helps sculpt and refine the shapes of the songs. With one boot in rock and the other in blues, he knows the value of a strong beat and how to anchor melody and soul sensibility to it in a way that reaches right into your hind-brain and purrs hello.
For its debut LP, Iggy T has attracted some formidable, heavy-hitting talent to be its Crazymakers. Karl Hunter (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy) on saxophone, Fernando Jaramillo (Nick Carter, Beto Cuevas) on drums, and renowned session musicians Matthew Cheadle on guitar, and Scott Fegette on bass were each individually drawn to the sound Todd and Franz were making. The result is a tight 5-piece ensemble with a big sound and the flexibility to forge novel musical sojourns without - as often happens with emerging new sounds - sacrificing listenability in the experimentation.