Rebel Moon Blues

Sass Jordan

Stony Plain, 2020

http://sassjordan.com

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/25/2020

Sass Jordan is now over 30 years into her career. Well-known in Canada as one of the hosts of Canadian Idol, she has also been nominated for multiple Canadian Juno Awards for Best Vocalist. While known primarily as a gritty rock vocalist, she has made a career turn by issuing an album of straight-ahead blues.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Rebel Moon Blues is primarily an album of covers with only one self-penned song. She draws from the likes of classic blues artists Willie Dixon and Elmore James and modern day rock/bluesmen Gary Moore and Rory Gallagher.

I always find it interesting to hear a woman's interpretation of male-produced blues songs. She has a voice made for the blues, as her starring role as Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway play would suggest. She grinds her way through a stripped-down versions of "My Babe" and "One Way Out."

Jordan is on familiar ground with the more modern days "Still Got The Blues" and Leon Russell's "Palace Of The King." In addition to her voice, Chris Caddell’s slide guitar lends an authenticity to the music.

"The Key" is the only original composition and it is one that has a full sound, complete with a brass section. Bordering on rock, she attacks the song, which gives it a high energy throughout. She wisely chose to play most of the songs live in the studio with her backing band and several selected guests, such as Steve Mariner, which gives the music an organic feel.

It is always interesting to see an artist make a stylistic turn so late into a career. She may not reinvent the blues, but she does reinvent herself. It all adds up to an album of good and, in many places, transformative music.

Rating: B

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