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Sass Jordan - Bitches Blues


by Kevin Wierzbicki

Thirty years ago Jordan released her Racine album and hit big with "Make You a Believer" and "You Don't Have to Remind Me" and it was evident then that she had the voice for and an affinity for the blues. A couple years ago she released a full-on blues album and now she follows it up with another in Bitches Blues, a set of mostly covers but also a couple of self-penned tunes. The originals are "Still the World Goes Round," a rollicking acoustic blues with a steady beat and a cool acapella opening, and "Change is Coming," an appropriately foreboding Delta blues with haunting harmonica parts from Steve Marriner and a touch of psychedelia courtesy of electric sitar playing from Jimmy Reid. There are eight tracks in all on the record and the album opens with a take on Rick Derringer's "Still Alive and Well;" listen closely and you'll hear Sass adding a couple of cat growls along with her whisky-soaked lyrics. The song is a great spotlight for guitarists Reid and Chris Caddell, no surprise since it was written by a hot guitarist and popularized by another stellar ax man, the late Johnny Winter. An exceptional take on Robben Ford's "Chevrolet" is included as is the classic Mississippi Fred McDowell moaner "You Gotta Move," famously covered by the Rolling Stones on their Sticky Fingers album. A bit of a surprising choice for a cover here is the Little Feat chestnut "Sailin' Shoes;" Jordan slows the cut down for the intro then rocks it funky like the original for the remainder of the song. Great to hear that Sass remains sassy at this point in her career.

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