Hadden Sayers

Hadden Sayers
Hard Dollar

Blue Corn Records

By Lady K
July 2011

OK, blues fans, anyone who knows Lady K knows that things can get a bit ugly when her listening space is invaded with any type of music that ‘twangs.’ Ergo, Lady K was a bit concerned when she first popped Hard Dollar into her trusty CD player, and heard some scary Texas twang emanating from her non-Texas electronics. This CD opens with a tune called “Take Me Back to Texas,” and Lady K’s first thought was ‘hey, you got yourself here - uninvited, get yourself back to Texas;’ but she did continue to listen because the promo material sounded promising, proving, yet again, that Lady K is very astute.

Hadden Sayers, playing his high-powered blues guitar, mixed some really good playing and non-twangy tunes in with that Texas-y stuff. In addition to that ‘thar’ guitar, Sayers also provides the vocals, and he is accompanied by Mark Frye (bass, Fender Rhodes), Dave DeWitt (Hammond B-3, Wurlitzer and piano), and Tony McClung (drums) – all of which add up to some enjoyable blues, and some really fine sounding, non-Texas, guitar blues. One of the exciting things that attracted my attention in the promo material was that Hadden Sayers was getting some vocal help on one of his tunes – from none other than Ruthie Foster! The duet – “Back to the Blues” – is a nicely gentle ballad, both a little bluesy and a little jazzy.

“Inside Out Boogie,” is indeed a boogie; it’s got a beat that swing- and lindy-dancers will love. The gist of the tune is that his lady is ‘driving me crazy, my baby turns me inside out’ – a terrific dance tune with some really cool keyboard. “Room 155” showcases Sayers’ blues guitar to great effect, while he’s lamenting running away from love, and trying to stay away from Room 155, because nobody gets out alive. (Sounds like one scary place, that Room 155.)

All in all, Sayers’ great blues guitar, Ruthie Foster, and the blues tunes more than make up for the occasional twang, heard here and there on “Hard Dollar”.

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