Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Blues, Pop
Escaping the shadows of many years' service to other Chicago bluesmen for his first feature recording, Ken Saydak uses the 88 keys of his piano to express active and fresh musical ideas that are mostly tied to the blues pi... more »
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Escaping the shadows of many years' service to other Chicago bluesmen for his first feature recording, Ken Saydak uses the 88 keys of his piano to express active and fresh musical ideas that are mostly tied to the blues piano tradition of Sunnyland Slim, Eddie Boyd, and Memphis Slim. Ably assisted by harmonica player Ron Sorin and drummer Jon Hiller, he gets the job done with ebullience and a sense of implacable purpose on an appealing program of originals and material from Boyd, Slim, Ray Charles, and a few more of his all-time heroes. Anyone who has heard him on many past Delmark blues sessions or with Johnny Winter or in the roots band Big Shoulders knows he can really play, but few blues fans outside Chicago knew he also was a perfectly capable singer. Almost always rising above the pale of the routine, he works his low-down, obliquely affable voice into the flow of his music with emotional self-assurance. He's to be believed when revealing his lack of faith in the bottle or women in "Ain't Found the Answer Yet" (the one number where he adds organ) or when sarcastically sizing up modern American culture in "Shoppin' and Snackin'." The title track finds Saydak assuming a role in which he reflects on a wasted life as his piano cadences release the tension generated by his vocals. Saydak's right at home covering Memphis Slim's "Mother Earth" and Eddie Boyd's "Save Her Doctor." Worth investigating. --Frank-John Hadley
"Foolish Man" is a winner!
Giovanni Robino | Italy | 01/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although this is Ken's first solo outing, Saydak is not really a "young gun". For many years he's played a main role in the blues circuit being the man on the keys, the man behind bluesmen such as Johnny Winter, Lonnie Brooks, Bonnie Lee, Mighty Joe Young to name a few. Former member of the original band Big Shoulders where, for the first time, he's been not only the "man on the keys" but he's stepped out front as a lead singer too, showing us how good he can handle each song vocally. Now, his Delmark first solo release fully proves Ken's skills as a songwriter also. Yes, because -WATCH OUT - among a bunch of well chosen covers, what knocked me out here were his self penned tunes, each and every one is first rate: from "Mama Please" to "Shoppin' and snackin'" to the hymn to those who consider solitude as a healing balm, "Time I spend alone", these lyrics are witty, smart, full of humor and testify the attitude of this man to look deeply through human condition. Backed by ex Big Shoulders Ron Sorin on harp and Jon Hiller on drums, with some occasional bassist to complete the line up, Ken's gravel and sandpaper-like voice shines through a wide range of musical influences that go from traditional piano blues to some kind of New Orleans flavour throughout some jazzy feel too. My personal advice: don't pass this one by and check it out!"