Sass Jordan – Rebel Moon Blues
8 tracks/33 minutes
Canadian rocker Sass Jordan has returned to her roots with this eight song tribute to blues musicians that influences her and her music. Blasting out seven great cuts from the masters like Willie Dixon, Elmore James, and Sleepy John Estes and one new tune, Jordan is comfy with her selections and gives it her all. In addition to Jordan on lead and backing vocals are her band, the Champagne Hookers; all of them back her vocal lead. Chris Cadell is on guitar, slide, and dobro, Jimmy Reid is also on guitar, Derrick Brady is on bass and Cassius Periera is on drums. Also appearing are Steve Marriner on harp, Jesse O’Brien on keys and Hill Kourkoutis (AKA D# or D Sharp) on extra vocals and co-writer of the original track with Jordan. Her career is long and storied, both in music, stage and television; she is a hard working woman who likes to stay busy.
Sleepy John Estes tune “Leaving Trunk” opens the set. Some marvelously dirty harp is featured here along with Jordan’s gravelly and sultry tones. It’s a harp and vocal attack with some cool guitar added to boot! “My Babe” follows, the Dixon classic that sounds perhaps more like early harp players influencing the style of harp than Little Walter. Jordan sings the song from a feminine perspective but her emotions are strong and forceful. The entire band joins in vocally to take us home in a neat manner. Keb Mo’s “Am I Wrong” gets dusted off from 1994 and Sass sings with grit and the dobro lays out some slick licks. It’s just Jordan, dobro and hand claps for percussion and it coms across quite well. Elmore James’ “One Way Out” gets an Allman-esque sort of treatment with the driving guitar line and overlaid slide guitar weaving a great backdrop for the cut. Jordan gives us a breathy and emotive take on this classic. A little harp blends in for fun here, too, but the vocals and slide are the stars here.
“Palace of the King” is a Leon Russell song with a stinging guitar intro and lead. Jordan growls and gives us a taught performance. There’s some nice harmonizing vocals which add a lot to the cut, too. The original “The Key” follows, a rock ballad of sorts with a very bluesy feel. The keys, guitar and backing musicians make for a full sound here as Sass builds her vocals up throughout. “Too Much Alcohol” is up next, a slick JB Hutto cover with more well-done dobro and Sass being full of, well, sass. It starts out slow but the tempo picks up as Jordan and Caddell get your blood moving with their lyrics and picking. Gary Moore’s “Still Got The Blues” concludes the album with some thoughtfully stratospheric guitar licks and emotion vocal delivery. It’s thoughtful yet piercing and evocative.
Jordan and her Champagne Hookers lay out some really good tracks. Fans of blues rock will eat this up and there is enough straight up blues that even the most ardent of blues purists will find something to like. The only complaint is that it’s eight songs and only 33 minutes, so it left me looking for more, but what’s here is solid and very enjoyable stuff!