Sass Jordan is always busy. In fact, the British-born, Montréal-raised, multi-Platinum-selling, award-winning songstress has been constantly busy since her career began 40 years ago. Between releasing albums, touring the world and even once starring in an off-Broadway Janis Joplin show, it seems Jordan never gets a break—but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I guess I never really think about this as a career,” Jordan pensively told What’s Up Yukon. “I just think about it as a lifestyle, day to day, and it’s always different. I think that’s a big part of it—I’m the type of person who gets bored easily if I do the same thing over and over again every day.”
Jordan is a musician first and foremost, but considers music a stepping stone to many other creative outlets, and she feels lucky to have been able to use her music career to access other opportunities in the artistic world.
“Being a creative performer of music allows you to branch out into all kinds of relative fields,” said Jordan. “I’ve just done television, I’ve done film stuff, I get to write stuff, I get to talk about shit—there’s all kinds of relative fields that music affords me the opportunity to get involved in, which is really a large part of the appeal to me.”
This past summer, Jordan released her newest record, Bitches Blues, a collection of classic blues covers along with three original cuts, as a follow-up to her acclaimed 2020 all-blues offering, Rebel Moon Blues.
“It’s chapter two in my latest, fun exploration of different genres of music,” Jordan said. “It’s more blues, although my music has pretty much always been blues roots-based, so it’s not like it’s a huge stretch.”
Jordan says interpreting songs by old masters of blues that she never explored in such depth before was a fun challenge to undergo, and it was interesting to find out what did and didn’t work for her. She says the songs on Bitches Blues, which sees her covering artists like Rick Derringer and Fred McDowell, as well as putting her spin on other many-times-done blues classics, all just felt right.
One of the cover songs is one Jordan feels is especially poignant now—“Still Alive and Well,” the album’s opening track, which was written by Rick Derringer and popularly performed also by Johnny Winter.
“Who can’t relate, especially after the past two and a half years, to being still alive and well, if you are,” Jordan said. “If you’re at a concert, you’re definitely still alive and you’re probably well, because I can’t see why you’d be going to a concert if you’re feeling like shit.”
And speaking of concerts, the main reason we’re chatting with Jordan is because she’s coming up to Whitehorse soon to play at Blue Feather Music Festival, which she’s done before and is always eager to do again. She even goes as far as to call Whitehorse one of her favourite towns.
“It’s just a beautiful town,” she said. “I love the land around it. It’s gorgeous.”
Because Blue Feather is always in November, Jordan hasn’t actually experienced a proper Yukon winter or summer, but has found plenty to do in Whitehorse, like hanging out with sled dogs and visiting Baked Café. She can’t remember the name of Baked, at first, saying it’s been five years since she last went up and she’s barely been anywhere else since, but after describing the location, she instantly recognizes the name.
“It’s like a TV show,” she said with a laugh. “Everybody gathers there, everybody knows everybody and it’s just awesome.”
At this point in a life and career that has seen Jordan do so much, the main item on her bucket list is simply to continue living—and doing everything that comes with being Sass Jordan. Though she’s been at it for four decades, the topic of slowing down, let alone retiring, doesn’t even come up in our conversation, as continuing to make music and seek out new creative opportunities is a crucial part of Jordan’s life.
“As time goes on, I realize more and more and more how profoundly healing music is,” she said. “Not just for others, but for me.”
Jordan will be performing as part of Blue Feather Music Festival at the Yukon Arts Centre on November 4. For more information and for tickets, visit https://www.bluefeathermusic.com.