Review By Darren McIntyre
Susan Santos is a celebrated singer/songwriter/guitarist from Madrid who is self-taught and a lefty into the bargain. Susan has a list of accolades to her name mainly Best Musical Performance @ European Blues Awards 2018, Best Female Album @ LA Critics Awards 2019 and has been fortunate enough to share the stage with the incredible Billy Gibbons. Susan has given us 5 studio albums – Take Me Home 2010, Shuffle Woman 2012, Electric Love 2014, Skin & Bones 2016, No U-Turn 2018 & The LA Session EP in 2020. On the 13th January, I brought you the fantastic lead single Hot Rod Lady from her soon-to-be-released new studio album, today I bring you that incredible new release Sonora, please settle in and grab a beer as I take us on this sizzling blues-infused journey.
Hot Rod Lady – The track begins with a real sludgy riffed intro that brings a punchy snare drum beat that lets this exciting musician tell her own story. The soulful vocals are just awesome as they add texture, depth and sass to this foot-stomping blues rock track that is a real pleasure on the ears let me tell you, we are getting into the groove as the deep bassline drops enchanting funk tones that are flowing effortlessly through this incredible piece of music. The track changes direction as the rhythm section gives us pounding bass kicks that bring cymbal snaps that open this sizzling monster to let Susan do her thing, the mid-section hits us with a crisp, clean guitar lick that showcases this incredible musician as she works her way through this amazing melodic piece with precision as she works the track with everything she has. This is a real doozie of a track and proves that this young lady is a force to be reckoned with as she just guides this track aimlessly with depth, and swagger that will have you reaching for the repeat button for sure, I cannot wait for the album to drop as I am sure we will be treated to something a bit special.
Snakebite – A real deep sludgy blues riff pours from the intro as slide guitar licks get this foot-stomping blues eruption off the ground. We get soulful vocals that just take this track to another place as the slick clean lines elevate this classy blues piece. The snare drum punches work well with the deep bassline that is wrapping itself around this thigh-slapping rock n roll arrangement as we get lost in the smooth melodic vocals that flow effortlessly through this fantastic track, the tempo changes pace as Susan unleashes a slick guitar salvo that lets us get lost in the musicality as the band gets tight and pulls out all the stops to allow this fantastic track to express itself as the groove just flows and delivers a sludgy blues beat that is just incredible.
So Long – A sweet cool dark guitar lick opens the account as we lead into blues-laden vocals that are getting gritty guitar licks to get this awesome track on the move. The vocals bring this track together as the rhythm section comes through with cool bass kicks that bring cymbal snaps that control the groove as it wanders freely through this toe tapping rock n roll arrangement, I will say that Susan must have had a lot of fun writing and performing this absolute banf=ger of an album. The slick delicious guitar licks take this track to another place as we feel the swagger oozing from this incredible artist as she delivers clean, crisp chords that are wrapped in a full-on bassline that gives this track a cool edgy feel.
Have Mercy – The pace changes direction as we have snare drum rolls that bring cymbal taps that let the killer upright bass tones fill the air as the tempo comes with a real mellow vocal charge. Susan’s vocals make it feel like you have just walked into a blues club and witnessed the house band deliver a real killer track that stops you in your tracks and grabs a hold of you, this is a clever arrangement that catapults this exciting musician to the next level as the whole composition just pops. The rhythm section is controlling the groove as the sizzling blues-soaked vocals let this track open and bring the groove to us in truckloads, we are feeling the love from this celebrated musician as this album just goes up a notch in my honest opinion.
What I Want – Kicking in the Doors is a real gritty rasping blues guitar lick that has punchy drums for company as this groove-laden rocker track erupts into life. The killer slide tones are just incredible as we witness cool riffs with real depth as this exciting musician drops foot-stomping killer licks that are complimented perfectly with a mellow bassline that is handing out the big grooves that lets this track express itself as we feel the energy oozing from this talented lady as she certainly comes with bags of talent. The pace is slowed a little as the crisp gritty guitar licks erupt in a flurry of licks that are building and building with every chord that is coming for us today, the musicianship is just something special as we get to grips with this killer record and how it wraps itself around you and really pulls you in and then some.
Voodoo Wheels – We are taken to the country hoe down as Susan ups the tempo with this toe-tapping blues thigh-slapping track that is fast, furious and has bags of energy coming at us right now. The slick, clean guitar licks are bringing us a deep funky groove that is backed by a sweet cool snare drum roll that has cymbal snaps that bring cool bass kicks that just pop. This is a rip-roaring country blues eruption that just grabs you and swiftly waltzes you around the floor in double quick time as the sweet clean guitar licks drive this blues juggernaut right towards us and certainly takes no prisoners with its gritty well balanced composition that has us wanting more and more.
Call Me Tonight – Change of pace brings a deep rasping guitar riff that delivers punchy snare drum kicks as the bass beats let the rhythm section tell it’s own story. The cool bassline is handing us mellow funk grooves that wrap themselves around this foot-tapping rock n roll beast as we are taken on the ride with this incredible artist as she rips up the playbook with her fantastic blues riffs that let this track shine. We get a fantastic partnership that lets the bassline cover us in delicious grooves as the rhythm section delivers solid snare drum beats that are all wrapped in soulful guitar licks that let the towering vocals drive onwards and just elevate this absolute groover track to another level with it’s rawness, well-delivered lyrics and snappy guitar licks that just take your breath away.
Let It Ride – Finishing off this awesome record is a funky blues feel that gives us sweet clean guitar crunches that give us that dirty funk feel as this track opens. The funky rhythm section is handing us punchy beats that have bass kicks that give us a sludgy funk feel as Susan drops the hammer and pushes through with cool licks that are just taking this track to another place with its intense feel and swagger, the rhythm section is kicking in the doors with solid snare drum beats that give this track a dark, sludgy, blues feel that is wrapped in colossal vocals that are giving off soaring gritty tones that are letting the colossal guitar work take us on down the road with slick, clean fingerwork that sizzles as it pours from this incredible record as we sit up and take notice of this celebrated musician as she marks a welcome return with this awesome slab of blues soaked rock n roll that ticks all the boxes and then some.
Susan Santos –
Susan Santos – Vocals / Electric / Acoustic / Banjo / Baritone / Theramin
David Salvador – Bass
Juli El Lento – Drums
Track Listing –
Hot Rod Lady
What I Want
Call Me Tonight
Let It Ride