Review: Julian Sas – Bound To Roll

Posted on: Monday, Feb 11, 2013

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Julian Sas – Bound To Roll
(Cavalier Recordings: CR255606)

Highly influenced by Rory Gallagher, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy, it is no surprise that Julian Sas excels as an energetic and expressive guitarist. On this excellent album, his fine vocals and impressive guitar playing are supported by his regular band members, Tenny Tahamata on bass guitar and Rob Heijne on drums, and guest Willem ven de Schoof on Hammond organ.

The album shuffles sedately into action with “Life On The Line”, infused with some lovely, lyrical guitar work. The wah-wah-laced “Mercy” raises the tempo and is followed by the title track, which rocks along at an even faster pace in slide guitar mode. The slow and reflective “How Could I’ve Been So Blind” provides a brief respite before a cracking version of Rory Gallagher’s “Shadow Play” cranks the pace back up with some great guitar work. “Swamplands” is a slide-fuelled fast-moving shuffle, which leads on to a terrific rendition of Steve Marriott’s soulful rocker “30 Days In the Hole”.

The upbeat rocker “The Blues Won’t Stay” provides another belting guitar solo as does the well-named “Tear It Up”, in the form of bouncing r‘n’b. In contrast, “Burnin’ Bridges” is a soul-searching, philosophical ballad while “Ain’t Backing Down” is a sensitive country blues, which Sas embellishes with a sprinkling of harmonica and an appropriately wailing guitar solo. The album draws to its close with a hard-driven version of Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61”, complete with an abundance of slashing slide guitar, and a reprise of the opening track.

This is yet another superb album of blues-rock from the highly talented Dutchman.

Lionel Ross

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