Every now and then this happens: in the midst of previewing a normally much too high stack of recordings to consider for reviews, a truly outstanding recording will arrive and force its way to the front of the pack. While I feel the need to apologize to the artists who are patiently awaiting a review, I have to write them the way I see and feel them.
With that said, for the past couple of weeks, I have been unable to get the Hadden Sayers CD "Swingin' From the Fabulous Satellite-Live From Texas" out of my player. This CD has become one of my personal favorites and embodies all of the essential elements of blues/rock music that have made me such a loyal and long time fan. Hadden Sayers is, without question, one of the most "complete packages" of this genre. He is a diverse and abundantly blessed guitarist, cut from the Lonnie Mack/Stevie Ray mold (is there any better than this?) with a touch of Carl Perkins thrown in for good measure. He is also among the better vocalists of the genre and in fact I would put him up against any of the greats. His music is basically Texas rock and blues, similar in sound to Chris Duarte. The CD was recorded live at the Fabulous Satellite Lounge in Houston without overdubs or musicians added later, all of which makes this an even more remarkable recording as the band's timing and performance are first rate. Sayers' rhythm section of Steve Will on bass and rock solid Eric Hansen on drums is impressive and contributes greatly to his sound. Sayers is also a terrific song writer, as 10 of the 12 tracks are his original compositions, and they are very well written indeed. As a bit of a side note, along with being a great lead player, Sayers is in addition an excellent rhythm guitarist, an art form which has been lost to most modern day ax slingers. His transitions from rhythm to lead and back again are as fluid as any I have heard by any guitarist. You have to listen hard at times to realize that there is not a second guitarist playing on the set. I cannot recall that during my years of writing, that I have ever noticed this talent demonstrated at so high a level as by Hadden Sayers.
There are a bunch of great tunes on this CD, with my favorites being the infectious tune "Down and Out (Of My Mind)", the hard driving "Johnny Law", and a slow Texas ballad "Everybody's Talkin'" which is a splendid example of the tremendous new music I have been hearing of late and have labeled as "American rock", as I did with recordings from Stone, Jesse Evans, and Alastair Greene. Sayers starts the set with perhaps my favorite tune "Bring It To Me Slowly", which he begins by asking the crowd "Y'all ready?"-An unpretentious beginning to an unpretentious yet spectacular recording. This music is very straight forward and performed in like manner by an extremely God gifted artist. Little wonder that I have been so taken with it.
"Swingin' From the Fabulous Satellite" is available at the band's official web site at www.haddensayers.com, and if you have not concluded so already, it comes with my patented "let the gas get turned off this month if necessary to have money to buy it" seal of approval.
Many thanks to Chris, Colorado's number one Bluesrocker, for the tip on this great CD. Keep on rockin', Sister Sass!