Sass Jordan is an artist who has had quite a bit of success in her native Canada. She has won a Juno award and been nominated three other times. Even after all her time as an artist, she is branching out into new territory by exploring some classic blues tunes. Rebel Moon Blues is a collection of seven classic blues songs and one original. Of the album, Jordan said, “To me, what makes these songs fresh, besides our energy, is that it’s a female doing traditionally male stuff.”
She’s not wrong. No matter how many times you’ve heard these songs, they sound fresh. “Leaving Trunk” is a great example. Steve Marriner makes the song with the unmistakable harmonica part while the rhythm section (Derrick Brady on bass and Cassius Pereira on drums) gets you grooving. After the harmonica intro, you hear Jordan’s raspy vocals, and you can’t help but wonder what it would sound like if she teamed up with Taj Mahal for a version of this song. “One Way Out” is another example. No matter which version you’re familiar with, this version captures the spirit of the song and even adds a little bit of a gospel feel with some claps in the intro. Like other versions of this song, don’t be surprised if this one runs through your head all day.
“Am I Wrong” (written by Keb’ Mo’) is a song that really grabs the attention – mostly because of the spectacular slide guitar. But then something else captures your attention. The slide guitar is the only instrumentation in the song, paired with Jordan’s vocals. The percussion in the song is strictly done with claps and stomps, which gives the song a front-porch sort of feel.
“The Key” is the one original on the album, and it’s a nice addition to the familiar songs that surround it. There is a sultry quality to the vocals in this one that is driven largely by the rhythm section. The guitar work by Chris Caddell and Jimmy Reid is solid while the keyboard adds a little rock and roll and the harmonica is the icing on this particular cake.
On this album, Jordan shows not only her appreciation for the blues, but also the fact that she has a pretty good grasp on singing the blues. She does pretty well by all the cover songs, and the one original starts you wondering if she is going to release a full album of blues originals at some point. Rebel Moon Blues will be available everywhere on March 13. Order your copy here.