Sass Jordan singing the blues? This is totally happening
If you used to listen to Sass Jordan singing “Tell Somebody” and “Make you a Believer” back in the ‘80s and ‘90s and think, “This woman should really sing the blues,” well you were right. She should. And she is.
It’s been a very long wait, but on Mar. 15, Sass, a Juno-winning rock n’ roller who has sold more than a million records worldwide, is releasing Rebel Moon Blues on Stony Plain Records, a collection of seven covers of numbers by Sleepy John Estes, Willie Dixon, Elmore James, Sonny Boy Williamson, Leon Russell and others.
Plus there’s an original called “The Key,” which is probably the closest in sound to Sass’ rock n’ roll repertoire.
“The blues has been there through my entire career,” Sass said in a news release announcing the album. “People have always said, ‘You’re so bluesy.’ And it’s true. My singing is blues-inflected. My songs use blues-type licks. I didn’t do any of that on purpose. It isn’t contrived. It’s just me.”
Co-produced by Sass and D#, Rebel Moon Blues features a crate-digging set list that was both a labor of love and a trip down the rabbit hole to produce.
“I wasn’t following any formula. I knew they had to be songs I loved and could really sink my teeth into,” Sass said.
Cut off the cuff and on the fly in just three fast-paced days, Sass and the Champagne Hookers — that’s her touring band of guitarists Chris Caddell and Jimmy Reid, bassist Derrick Brady and drummer Cassius Pereira, augmented by blues harp master Steve Marriner and keyboardist Jesse O’Brien — played live in the same room at the same time.
“The energy is so different when you’re playing it live,” she said. “It’s a different frequency, a different vibe. It’s very joyous. You can hear a lot of us laughing on there. I love that kind of thing.
“It’s like you’re right there with us. We’re there, we’re live, and we’re having a blast, baby!”
There was no changing the lyrics either.
“To me, what makes these songs fresh, besides our energy, is that it’s a female doing traditionally male stuff,” she said. “I like approaching the songs the way they were written. I find that not messing with the original gender is particularly relevant in today’s climate. It’s great that we can get away with doing that now.”
Given that Sass was a pioneer of powerful, gritty female-fronted rock n’ roll here in Canada, it’s cool to hear her being all “woke” on the gender front.