The Justin Saladino Band – Honest Lies
Ten tracks; 39 minutes
The Canadian band, The Justin Saladino Band, was nominated for a Maple Blues Award as New Artist of the Year in 2018, and represented Quebec at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis that year as well. Their latest release, Honest Lies, demonstrates why they earned those honors. The album was produced by Canadian guitarist, Ariel Posen, who is also included as a guest artist, playing guitar and providing backing vocals. Honest Lies starts off with an extremely catchy song, “Sink or Swim,” and the guitar is exceptional not only on that song, but also on all the remaining tracks. In addition, Gabriel Forget and Denis Paquin do an excellent job on bass and drums, respectively, and Melissa Pacifico offers some beautiful backing vocals.
Saladino is a skilled songwriter, and all of the songs on this album were either written or co-written by Saladino. The lyrics for many of the songs could serve as good encouragement for those wrestling with relationship issues. For example, in “Sink or Swim” he notes, “we’re going to make it through this together. I don’t want to live with regret. It’s either sink or swim, that’s the shape I’m in.” And, “Can’t Have You Around” offers support for those relationships that have ended: “Letting you walk away was the best damn thing I could have done that day!”
Saladino’s website describes his style as “rock, blues, folk, and funk with genre-blending compositions.” That seems to accurately describe what you will hear on this album. Blues purists may be disappointed, as the blues-influence can be a little difficult to find on a few of the tracks. However, Saladino is a very talented singer and guitarist and he surrounded himself with wonderful musicians for this project. Those who appreciate a variety of genres will find this a very enjoyable addition to their collection.