Sweet Bourbon – Slippery Slopes | Album Review

Sweet Bourbon – Slippery Slopes

Self released


9 songs, 40 minutes

Live albums can bring out some of the fire and heat in the Blues. Live documents can show the true spirit of a musician and, when the crowd is right, be a testament to the electric connection between artist and audience. Countless bootlegs and poor quality albums exist from some of our favorite artists. But, when a musician plans out a live recording and makes a high quality artifact capturing their unique magical abilities live it can be pure bliss. Buddy Guy’s Live: The Real Deal, Albert King’s Live Wire/Blues Power, Albert Collins Frozen Alive! or any of Robert Cray’s consistently excellent live albums are just a few examples.

Dutch Blues Rock band Sweet Bourbon has made their career off the strength of their live recordings. Making their recording debut in 2015 with Live at Trianon, Sweet Bourbon have released their 3rd live installment in Slippery Slope. Recorded in September of 2021, Slippery Slope finds the band roughly swinging through a series of Rock flecked Blues and R&B.

Sweet Bourbon is at its core Chris Janssen on guitars, Rene Van Onna on vocals and Willem Van der Schoof on keys. Rounded with a sensitive rumble and roll is Ruben Ramirez on drums and Roeland Van Laer on bass. Always incorporating excellent backing vocals, on Slippery Slope Suzan Wattimena and Henny Oudesluijs support with nicely tuned vocal arrangements.

The performances on this set are solid. This is a tight band that is well rehearsed and has great interplay. Janssen in particular shines with a nicely crafted distortion tone and well executed lead playing. Van Onna and the background singers work well together to help bring out the sung-in-English lyrics. There is a nice hint of their Dutch accent which this reviewer always prefers to singers trying to pretend they have an American accent. It just sounds more real and natural and brings a deeper dynamic to the singing. The band works through hard charging bar Rock, syncopated NOLA inspired marching and some good 70’s styled Blues Funk. There are even a couple nice acoustic moments to offer an audio palet cleanser from the hyped up Blues Rock.

Sweet Bourbon is a really good band and clearly has some great music waiting to come out of it. Slippery Slope is performed well, but there is a little bit of fire missing. The music feels almost too restrained or distant at times. It could simply be the audio quality, which is good but gives a lot of room space. It could also be that the band was a little less loose knowing they were recording. Regardless, Sweet Bourbon rocks the Blues with style and Slippery Slope is a fun listen.

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