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Blue Suede News
American Roots Music Magazine
It's amazing to me that an artist with John Lee Sanders' Talent should have to approach an European label to get his product out, though I guess that's an old story around here. Sanders is an amazing songwriter and producer. Although John is from Louisiana, he credits Long John Baldry with helping him rediscover the musical heritage of the region. The results are spectacular.
The pianist/saxman combines elements of Dr. John with those of several of the best piano based artists of the last 20 years- like Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, and Leon Russel for example and holds his own with all of 'em. I'm not much into a couple of those guys, but when their style comes out of John Lee Sanders he's transformed it into something I like alot.
Not only that, but he takes a led Zeppelin song ("Black Dog") and shows those guys how that song should go, realizes its potential fully. He also covers Little Milton on "Who's Cheatin' Who?' This album is a tremendous discovery, and I just lucked onto it by running into Sanders at a party. Not only did he give me a copy, but he bought a subscription!
By Marc Bristol
Blueprint Magazine Review, UK, by Rober Tilling
I recently saw California based John Lee Sanders playing keyboards and sax with Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings.(in the Jersey Islands, off the coast of France) His sax playing reminded me of the great King Curtis. This Album shows a much wider range of musical interests and approaches than his magnificent work with Roy Rogers. There are Twelve tracks all sung by Sanders and it is his vocals that create great atmosphere and tension throughout.
His own 9 original compositions contain imaginative and thoughtful lyrics. Sanders leads a fascinating line up, creating a full big band sound, where he has gathered around him quality musicians. There is, in particular, some gutsy guitar work from Garth Webber and Stef Burns on "Too Close To Be Friends" and the five women backing vocals add terrific vibrancy. This is a beautifully produced set with, in particular, two outstanding cover numbers, "Black Dog" from Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and a tight interpretation of Little Milton's "Who's Cheating Who?" with the vocals from Sanders being at their most expressive. Sanders has a terrific voice, which at times reminds me a little of Mose Allison, and along with his thoughtful lyrics makes this powerful set even more enjoyable.
Here is a very sophisticated selection of material which shos a wide range of influences but with a very bluesy overtone. Sanders is a serious and thinking musician and suggests in the notes that "Music teaches us to be more tolerant and accepting of all cultures and peoples of the Earth" I could not agree more and I am sure that this enjoyable set will help to do just that!
Robert Tilling, Blueprint Magazine. U.K.