Juarez is wild music from beyond the badlands. Originally released 40 years ago, this lavish and timely reissue shows it’s lost none of its primal power. Allen himself described the blend of sounds and styles on Juarez as “haunting” and there are many ghosts inhabiting this narrative about a cross-country journey which takes us from Cortez to Tijuana and LA to Ciudad Juarez.
What Allen finds are desperate, colourful characters powered by sex and violence who’ve many yarns to tell. While Allen went on to create many other fine pieces of art and collaborations, Juarez is a startling statement from a dude enthralled by what’s all around him. It may be classed as country music but it’s from a much different country than the genre’s practitioners usually call home. A fascinating reminder of what a truly maverick vision can create.