Thanks to the efforts of Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox and singer Miche Braden, the world now knows how heavy metal rockers, Guns N’ Roses sound with their knees rouged up and their stockings down.
Their New Orleans jazz take on 1987’s “Sweet Child O’ Mine” replaces the preening rock god sensitivity of the original with a sort of mature, female swagger harkening all the way back Bessie Smith. (Braden’s stage credits include turns as Billie Holiday, Valaida Snow, and Ma Rainey.)
The backup musicians get in on the fun, too, retooling Slash’s guitar solo as a horn-driven cakewalk. I know which party I’d rather hit!
Over the years, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” has proved a remarkably study workhorse, withstanding attempts to make it over as electronica, a Gregorian Chant and Brazilian prog rock. Or how about this version played on the Guzheng, an ancient Chinese instrument. Postmodern Jukebox’s entry into this stakes is not without gimmick, but it’s a winning one.