American guitarist Susan Santos has released a 4 track EP, unsurprisingly recorded in LA at the end of 2019, featuring prominent bass contributions from veteran musician, and Supersonic Blues Machine leader, Fabrizio Grossi and crunching beats from session drummer Tony Morra. I didn’t know much about this musician but she’s been around for quite a well, having released five albums since 2010 and winning the unsettlingly non grammatically titled “Best Musician Performance” at The European Blues Awards in 2018 (Best Performer? Best Musician?).
By the sound of the four tracks here, which are a good introduction to this powerful performer, I would imagine that her forte is playing live. All four numbers crackle with energy, driven as much by the strong rhythm section as by the tight chordal riffing and multi-tracked guitars of Santos herself. “Dirty Money” kicks off with a cool open stringed riff punctuated by electronic handclaps accompanying the fat bass and drum sound, which are the foundation for strong and distinctive vocals by Santos. “Fever” is a busy number – there’s a lot of production been put into these songs – featuring acoustic and electronic beats, powerful chords, a semi-anthemic chorus and thin, screeching soloing. “Somebody to Love” is the stand out track, with its rolling bassline, melodic chord structure and catchy, double-tracked vocals. This also features some nice heavily reverbed soloing that wouldn’t be out of place on a swamp rockabilly track. Final track “Wait” is equally punchy, with some fast riffing, big pushes and some searing slide.
Powerful blues rock and a tasty sampler to highlight the talents of this intriguing musician.
Bluesdoodles Rating: Great Listening – A worthwhile addition to your collection
1. Dirty Money
2. Somebody To Love