Saltation comes from Latin, deriving ultimately from the verb salire, meaning “to leap.” Seven years on from the release of his self-titled album, South-African six-stringer Jonathan Peyper has teamed up with one of his guitar heroes and fellow countryman Dan Patlansky to catapult this power blues-rock trio into prominence.
Patlansky will be familiar with the Blues Rock Review community as he along with Joe Bonamassa remain the only artists in history to be voted Blues Rock Review’s #1 album of the year twice. This time around he is responsible for production duties with his influence acknowledged by Peyper in this deep journey of musical, lyrical, and emotional development. “It was a great and encouraging experience working with Dan. I learnt so much from the man with regards to my approach to the blues genre and what I could do different/ better,” said Peyper.
The raw edge, honest sound, and intense bluesy tone of Pepyer is perfectly captured on this poignant 12-track record which serves as a tribute to one of the most influential people in his life – his grandfather. This authenticity shines through on the moving “Watching Over You” and measured unity of “Reaching Out” which illustrates the subterranean detail to his song craft.
Drowning in the sludgy explosiveness of “QuickSand”, the album detonates in unrelenting fashion with a piledriver of a riff and some spellbinding fretwork. Thankfully, this isn’t the only heavy slice of savage blues-rock with “Crack ‘em Up” throwing in a wonderful wailing guitar solo, while “Not My Time” and “Fear of a Man” bring out the glorious, searing spirit of his Fender Stratocaster.
“Turn Out Their Lights” is one of the most rousing rhythm sections in the ‘rainbow nation’, as well as featuring some exuberant backing vocals. “Breathe” provides a showcase for more heartfelt playing by Peyper as he expresses an air of relatable sorrow at the loss of a loved one – ‘it’s hard to breathe when you’re way up there’.
Caked in guitar glory and a real feeling of sincerity throughout, Saltation is a soaring success that could prove to be a springboard for this exciting and undoubtedly talented six-stringer, singer and songwriter.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Watching Over You
– Not My Time
The Big Hit
– Not My Time