Brooklyn native Maya Azucena first put her name on the map in 2003 with her debut "Maya Who?!". A great blend of soul and funk highlighted by a dynamic voice you would not forget even if you tried. For those in the know, it was quite obvious how talented this woman is. Finally, we have "Junkyard Jewel", an acoustic album with a solid band to provide her with a raw authentic sound. In this setting, the music is stripped down and the feeling is more personal. You get the impression that Maya reached back into her musical roots and pulled out hymns that have played a part of who she is today. The vibe has a folk feel to it and evokes all sorts of emotions. Be it joy, pain, spiritual or blues. It's hard to really zero in on tracks that stand out because the entire disc flows very well. However, "Runaway blues" really left a impression on me with the strong vocal harmonies laid out. The performance on "Wash Over" is downright stirring with violinist Tarrah Reynold's persuasive melodies. If that wasn't enough, she puts her stamp all over Leonard Cohen's"Hallelujah". Want to hear a beautiful voice in it's purest form? Make room for some quiet time and give "Junkyard Jewel" a listen.