Sandy Saunders Band – Rattlesnake Road
Throughout the past few years, we’ve seen a bit of a music explosion coming from the Northwest part of our country, although not a whole lot on the “alt country” front. That is, until now. Portland, Oregon is the home to Sandy Saunders and her band. Origanally from the state of Georgia, Saunders has brought the southern soul to the great Northwest and to the rest of the world through the band’s first full length album, Rattlesnake Road.
The twelve-song recording has something for everyone. From the bluesy “Shake These Blues” to the rockin’ “Where I’m Going,” the musicianship and crafty lyrics will have you hooked from the first track to the last. The opening number, “Concrete Cowboy” is a real country-rocker. The slightly dirty guitar with the sweet, slightly dirty, vocals will draw you in. By the time you get to the third track, you understand this is a record with veriety. Number three is a much more acoustic-feeling ballad, a song about a lost friend that’s as uplifting as it is sad, a great peice of writing art by Saunders. “Flash of Lightning” is track four. It along with “13th Page” and “Where I’m Going,” it’s one of the more rockin’ cuts.
Each of these feature the great guitar work of Billy Lindsay. Lindsay, a native of Scotland, puts the axe to work with the power of a chainsaw throughout the album. The makeup of this recording seems pretty basic. It’s lacking the overkill studio effects, forcing you to hear the music as it sounds on stage. The instrumentals and the vocals have a superb balance and every song tells a story. Those three factors make every track on this record a smash.
The title track is this writer’s favorite of the bunch. A slightly spooky blues number, “Rattlesnake Road” takes you on a four-minute trip away from reality, with the hypnotizing guitar, the spooky bass line and the kind of vocals that make you belive you are there in the story it tells. Track number seven is a clever and humorous drinking song. This one lets the country light shine through as it was actually written by Saunders years before her transition to the West Coast.
Weather you are a fan of rock, country, blues, or folk, there is something for you on this album, it’s a winner!
The CD is available through all the regular on-line sources as well as the band’s own website.