Review: Hadden Sayers – Hard Dollar

Posted on: Saturday, Oct 8, 2011

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Texan troubadour Hadden Sayers is proud to hand over his Hard Dollar, a super-solid rock-blues set with a touch of country and western sentiment and just a dash of jazz.

The excellent Austin Chronicle (now, that’s what I call a gig guide!) hails Sayers as “Houston’s best all-round guitarist” while Billy Gibbons, no less, says “Hadden’s pretty much my hero.”  Sad, then, that personal and professional problems discouraged Sayers enough to turn his back on music for a while but, encouraged by a call from gospel-blues songer Ruthie Foster, now a Blue Corn stablemate, in search of a guitarist, he has blasted back with this confident set of inspired and often witty originals.

Highlights are many. “All I Want Is You” is an eight-bar blues ballad hitting the ‘golden triangle groove’ where Texas and Louisian meet, Sayers alternating his heartfelt lyrics with great guitar phrasing.  “Back To The Blues” is a wonderful soulful understated minor-key duet with Foster, “Lap Of Luxury” changes gear effortlessly into a laid-back shuffle where Sayers solos expressively with refines taste.

“Sweet Texas Girls” is pure country, as geunine an offering as the genre can produce in a paean to all Lone Star state womanhood while “Hippie Getaway” is a more than convincing electric boogie shuffle tribute to Lightnin’ Hopkins.  Instrumental “Moneyshot” is the talking-guitar finale win which Sayers clearly is having an absolute ball.
He is quick though to pay tribute to his backing band who underpin and add appropriate colour throughout, particularly Dave DeWitt’s keyboards, Tony McClung’s drums and the wailing harp and baritone sax appeal of Phil Clark.
All in all, an excellent mixed bag of delights.


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