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Julian Sas - Bound to Roll

Cavalier Recordings

13 songs; 53:15 minutes

Styles: Southern Rock and Blues Rock

Southern and blues rocker Julian Sas sends greetings from his native Netherlands, along with his eighth studio album, “Bound to Roll”! Although relatively unknown in the U.S., he, bassist Tenny Tahamata, and drummer Rob Heijne have gained a fanatical following. One of Julian’s finest feats was headlining the Fehmarn Festival in Germany, a Woodstock equivalent dedicated to Jimi Hendrix. He also earned top billing at the annual Rory Gallagher Tribute Festival in Ireland. For American rock and blues fans, “Bound to Roll” offers nine Sas(sy) originals and three rip-roaring covers. The most discriminating genre connoisseurs may say this album brings Lynyrd Skynyrd far more to mind than Willie Dixon or Robert Johnson. However, here are three selections that are guaranteed to attract the notice of even the most zealous blues zealots:

Tracks 01 and 13: “Life on the Line” and its “Radio Edit”-- Essentially, these two songs are one, so they shall be mentioned as such. “Life on the Line” is the purest blues track on “Bound to Roll,” not just in tone and rhythm, but lyrically as well. “Someday the world gonna see everything I did for you,” Julian warns. “I laid my life on the line--was it good enough for you? NO!” His fiery electric solo in the middle, backed by Tahamata’s down-and-dirty bass, will make listeners lay their attention on the line for sure!

Track 06: “Swamplands”-- The title of this gritty stomp refers to the present abode of a fugitive: “Way back down in the swamplands, I keep on running from the law. I’m crying out for mercy--you don’t know what I saw! Take my ride across that river, and please, mama, let me hide. I’m crying out for mercy--nobody knows what I feel inside….” “Swamplands” is the perfect counterpoint to movies and songs which glamorize fleeing justice, because as this ballad’s narrator knows all too well, “it’s a long way home” for him!

Track 11: “Ain’t Backing Down”-- Small-town life can be cozy, but in this magnificent acoustic ballad, Julian Sas proves that it’s not for everyone. “Don’t try to lie about me,” he admonishes his fellow residents, “because in your heart, you know I ain’t one to blame. You live behind these walls so safely, and for me it just ain’t the same.” The melancholy expressed here is not due to loneliness per se, but wanderlust--loneliness for the open road.

In the liner notes to this album, Julian states: “For me this is a very personal album, and almost every song is about something that happened in my life.” Whether this album is pure blues or not, it’s “Bound to Roll” into the CD collections of Southern rock and blues lovers!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 32 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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