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Under the Lights

Make Us A Believer

Tell Somebody…and she did! 

British born, Montreal based Canadian Rocker Sass Jordan burst upon the scene in the late eighties with a no holds barred solo career that kicked the sh_t out of Canadian Rock!

This multi-talented singer and bassist cut her teeth with prominent bands out of Montreal in the late 1970’s…such groups as The Box and The Pin-ups.    During the eighties, Sass flexed her acting muscles and was no stranger to TV…doing a gig as one of Canada’s first “VeeJays” on a Montreal music series.  Going back to her first love, singing…Sass released her debut solo album in 1988.  “Tell Somebody” hit the Canadian music scene like a bomb…becoming this rocker’s first platinum album.  Three songs, count them three!...charted: “Tell Somebody”, “Double Trouble”, and “Stranger Than Paradise”.

Ms. Jordan took the album on the road, further cementing her skills, and forming a formidable reputation as a no-holds barred rocker in the first degree.  Her live shows were electric…steamy, hard-driven blues/rock that commanded attention.  Most fitting for this whiskey-soaked vocalist and song-writer.  In the following several years, Sass would tour North America, move to Los Angeles, get involved in some multi-media projects and form a ‘kick-a__’ band that produced her second effort, “Racine”.  Things were looking great for this fireball from Montreal…a new album, with more chart success, and the album going platinum.  She even garnered an award from the North American music bible, Billboard…awarded her with Top Female Artist-Album Rock.  Comparisons to Janis Joplin and the British blues siren Maggie Bell followed.  It looked like Sass arrived at the High Road Easy.

Not so much…as tragedy and despair soon followed Ms. Jordan….almost the typical fame to rags story, and I say almost…because being such a strong individual and Artist, Sass pulled herself up and out of the self-described ‘black hole’.  Being a song-writer, she documented her struggles and the forth coming triumphs in her third solo release.  “Rats”, perhaps her strongest effort…supercharged with emotion, both musically and lyrically.  “Rats” produced such revealing pieces as “Damaged”, “Pissin’ Down”, “Slave”, and “High Road Easy”.  The third effort also showed a sign of hope and of better things to come for one Montreal girl named Sass Jordan.  Her heart still in Canada, Sass moved back to Ontario and started a family…furthering her recovery and pursuits in theatre as well as music.  She continued to record and tour, releasing several very classy Blues/Rock records…’Present’, ‘Hot Gossip’, ‘Get What You Give’, and her latest…’From Dusk ‘Til Dawn’.

Of course, most younger Canadians remember Sass Jordon as one of the judges with Canadian Idol and not this feisty bigger than life singer/songwriter from the wilds of Montreal.  In August of 2012, Sass became an honorary Colonel with the Royal Canadian Air Force, Cold Lake squadron, and rumour has it that Sass is working on a new soulful bluesy Recorded Work, and perhaps hitting the road.  Hopefully this rumour will turn out true, as we need this true Canadian Idol…to make us all a believer!!                                      
 


TEN has been around since the early nineties, and have gathered an intense following in the UK and Europe, as well as Aisa.  In North America, the group enjoys a ‘select audience’, however it is dedicated and strong.  The group is formed around legendary British Vocalist Gary Hughes, here is an insight on how Gary has kept this group together and the legacy that has become TEN:

Last year was a big year for Ten… Take us through some of the highlights, and how your comeback year influenced your new album.

Answer: For some time now it has been my wish that Ten should return to a higher product output and more regular album turnover. I hope eventually to return to the pro - active ways of our early years. Last year’s release “Stormwarning”, and the live dates that followed, felt like an adrenaline rush for Ten. It felt fantastic to play in the live arena again after so long away. The band are hungrier than ever to play and promote the new product. We felt we had lost touch with our fan base and now we intend to do everything within our power to rectify that. I hope that there will be a new album every 12-18 months from now on.

Q: Were the line-up changes in place during last year, or, more recent?

A: The trick is to bring new vibrant musicians in that add life and energy to the band. Ten are sounding fresher and more powerful than ever. Ten 2012 is very different animal to Ten circa 1996. We have had to evolve to survive. Many bands around in the 90’s are long gone now. Ten 2012 is no nostalgia trip. We’re not simpley dusting off a collection of old musicians past their sell by date. When members of any band have been together as long as Ten have, occasionally we ask ourselves is this what we really want to do any more. Band members come and go.

Q: Gary, how has the line-up change affected the new album, in regards to the recording process and the performances?

A: The recording process never alters. The new members are aware of the bands lineage and legacy and so the blue print is already there. When members of any band have been together as long as Ten have, occasionally we ask ourselves is this what we really want to do any more. Neil (Fraser) only came in on guitar for the Stormwarning album as a session. Mark (Sumner) came in on bass guitar but at the last minute decided that committing to a tour schedule was not what he wanted. In Paul Hodson’s  case, ill health was a big factor. An ongoing health condition meant that he simply couldn’t commit to any further live dates or touring. Paul and I are still great friends and will probably continue to work on “studio only” projects together. Steve McKenna has returned to the line - up on bass following a reconciliation with myself. It is great to have Steve back in Ten. I had missed him. Dan Mitchell has come in on lead guitar for the exiting Neil Fraser. Dan is a virtuoso guitar player. His style is somewhere between Rusty Cooly and Steve Vai. His presence adds greatly to the live sound. Ten are sounding fresher and more powerful than ever.

Q: Ten have a very recognizable sound and so it is essential that these specific flavours are present each time we record. Did you have a certain ‘vision’ regarding “Heresy And Creed”…

A: Heresy And Creed isn’t a ‘concept album’ as much as ‘an album full of concepts‘. Every song has its own concept and is a free standing piece in its own right. I feel that the album has great depth to it. In fact it is one that grows richer with every time you listen through it. There are some solid rockers alongside some powerful melancholic ballads. A typical Ten album really but with some new flavours too.

“Heresy And Creed” comes out in October, worldwide…can we expect to see Ten in concert during the Autum/Winter?

A: We plan to tour extensively in Europe with Heresy And Creed. I would also like to look into going to Japan again soon. It has been almost 10 years since Ten played in Japan and 6 or so since we played extensively in Europe. That’s too long and this new line up is on fire. We play Firefest in October here in the UK. Then we’re off to Madrid in November. We then do Hard Rock Hell Festival just after that

TEN  “Heresy And Creed”  Frontiers Records
Review by: Bruce E.J Atkinson

With such a cinematic opening…’The Gates Of Jerusalem’, the theme of “Heresy And Creed” is instantly in your face!  Ten’s tenth album is an instant classic!  Gary Hughes and friends have totally out-done themselves.  Perhaps the greatest Songwriter in this half of the 21st century, the sheer volume and diversity of Mr. Hughes’ material is nothing short of amazing!  “Heresy And Creed” is a refined Recorded Work, displaying the multi-talents of the six musicians whom make-up this classic Hard Melodic Rock wonder.  As mentioned—fuelled by Gary Hughes, his songwriting and singing…Ten are firing on all sixteen cylinders!!  Flowing in and out of the timely religious and cultural overtones, this story is so powerfully delivered, it totally immerses the listener.  A very deep and layered album—majestic in form—gigantic in musical performance, and exquisitely finished by the song “The Riddle”…this is a monumental release!
   “Heresy And Creed” will be sought after the world over!!


Under The Lights

Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:

The Blue Gator:   JW Jones:  Oct. 19th & 20th    Papa Dawg:  Oct. 24th       Zamboni Brothers:  Oct. 25th    Random Act:  Oct. 26th & 27th    Young ‘Uns:  Nov. 9th and 10th

Doc Willoughby’s:  Grimskunk with Dearly Beloved: October 18th                                   

Gateway 21:     Truly Tina: (Tina Turner Tribute)   Oct. 19th & 20th    Reflections In Black; (Tribute To Johnny Cash)   Oct. 26th & 27th

97 Street Pub:  Crabby Mike:  Oct 19th & 20th   The Zamboni Brothers:   November 2nd & 3rd   Wheelhouse:   November 9th & 10th   Paper Lions:   November 15th   Out Of Eden:  November 16th & 17th

Minstrel Café:  The Strawbs:   Oct. 23rd  Fighting Orange:  Oct. 27th

The Streaming Café:   Reuben & the Dark: Oct. 20th   Maurice with Matthew de Zoete:  Oct. 27th   

Notable Concerts:  

 Minstrel Café:   The Strawbs:   October 23rd

Kelowna Community Theatre:   Andre-Philippe Gagnon:  November 9th    Colin James:  November 12th     

Prospera Place:   Journey/Loverboy/Night Ranger:  December 1st

……if you have a musical story or news and would like me to write something… drop me a line at:  [email protected]  and let’s celebrate Kelowna’s rich and varied music community together!!.....

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Read more Under the Lights articles

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About the Author

We call him the Professor of Rock: With a career in music, television and media arts spanning 30 years, Atkinson knows music. He's traveled as a professional musician and he loves Rock 'N Roll. He is a music journalist who writes internationally for Frontier Records' Melodic Rock magazine and he owns FBA International a multifaceted management, consulting, promotional entity.






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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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