SASO “The Levee” (Independent, 2017)

Texas raised singer-songwriter Jaime Saso (who plays, wait for this… acoustic, bass guitar, mandolin banjo, harmonica, melodica, Hammond organ, ukelele and percussion) provides music of a pop, rock and blues variety. Having travelled extensively, there are also worldly influences present – he has after all played Flamenco in the caves of Grenada, and sampled Eastern music while trekking in the Himalayas.On first listen I felt the album was nice enough, but in need of something to set it aside from the wealth of singer-songwriter fare available. Saso is able to lay claim to the fact, because the album is one of those that creeps up on the listener he is the business.   

Easy loping number Down On 35 opens the album in pleasing fashion, and with the equally impressive Looking For Eliza following hard on its heels Saso is instantly up and running. His infectious style of delivery on the tune had me reminiscing on another Texas singer-songwriter who has long impressed with his shrewd probing work, Darden Smith. He measures up well. Saso tosses up one or two random lyrics as he lends humor to his music.

Others of note include Rickshaw of Love, nicely warmed in harmonica among other instruments and percussion fronted Fish On the Line (a beautiful instrumental piece), and with pedal steel and vocal harmonies plus mandolin to the fore Stephanie like with a few more contains much artistic beauty. Cello warmed Inside The View featuring cello plods alone opposed to stirring ones heart and soul, better by some distance you have the more urgent story-ballad Last Song Of The Year as he recalls a date in 2015.

While the album does contain one or two songs that drift along and are a bit more art driven without leaving any notable impression, the music and Saso’s willingness to entertain ensure I will keenly monitor his progress.

Author: Maurice Hope

Work for CEF, live in Hexham, Northumberland. Americana, country, folk and bluegrass Journalist since 1988 and currently write for Americana-UK.com, Flyinshoes and live reviews for Northern Echo and Jumpin' Hot Club. Enjoy photography, walking, natural history, travel, reading and writing poetry.

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