Label: Astral Spirits
Ava Mendoza plays these songs. She makes them sing. Her technique is impeccable, but her playing is astonishingly expressive. She doesn't just bend blue notes; she wads them up into a ball and throws them up against a wall. She manipulates raw lightning, giving us a sound that is fluorescent and powerful enough to leave a trace of ozone in the air. Mendoza knows what she does better than almost anyone else on the planet, which is tell stories with her guitar.