Ken Saydak - Love Without Trust
  • 01 Watching The River Flow
  • 02 Love Without Trust
  • 03 Junco Partner
  • 04 Breakdown
  • 05 Don't Blame The Messenger
  • 06 Clo Clo Boogie
  • 07 I Got You So Bad
  • 08 Can't Trust Your Neighbor
  • 09 Big City
  • 10 Expressions Of Tenderness
  • 11 Great Northern Stomp
  • 12 Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven
  • 13 Illinois
radio promo contact: Kevin Johnson

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The Ken Saydak Band
Love Without Trust
Delmark DE-751

On this, his second Delmark album, Ken Saydak‘s piano, vocal, and writing talents are showcased in a larger ensemble than on his debut, Foolish Man (Delmark 725). Joined on many cuts by a five piece band, Ken's music here is reminiscent of some of his best work with Big Shoulders. Continuing to draw from the deep well of American musical styles, he once again provides a musical mix that, while broad in scope, never strays too far from his roots in the blues. Trust this: Love Without Trust is blues brawn with a brain.

1. Watching The River Flow 4:51
2. Love Without Trust 6:14
3. Junco Partner 4:49
4. Breakdown 5:58
5. Don't Blame The Messenger 5:13
6. Clo Clo Boogie 3:49
7. I Got You So Bad 3:39
8. Can't Trust Your Neighbor 4:57
9. Big City 6:28
10. Expressions Of Tenderness 4:45
11. Great Northern Stomp 3:57
12. Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven 6:23
13. Illinois 3:36

Ken Saydak, vocals, piano, organ
Ron Sorin, harmonica
Mark Wydra, guitar
Roland "Stumpy" Miller, bass
Greg Bigger, drums

Roberta Thomas, additional vocals (2, 5, 7)
James Wheeler, guitar (4)
Bob Stroger, bass (4)
Harlan Terson, bass (1, 12)
Bob Levis, guitar (12)
John Brumbach, tenor sax (10)
Rob Amster, acoustic bass (10)

1. Watching The River Flow 4:51 (Robert Dylan, Big Sky Music, SESAC)
2. Love Without Trust 6:14 (Ken Saydak, Margan Music, BMI)
3. Junco Partner 4:49 (Robert Shad, Embassy Music, BMI)
4. Breakdown 5:58 (Ken Saydak, Margan Music, BMI)
5. Don't Blame The Messenger 5:13 (Ken Saydak, Margan Music, BMI)
6. Clo Clo Boogie 3:49 (Ken Saydak, Margan Music, BMI)
7. I Got You So Bad 3:39 (Ken Saydak, Margan Music, BMI)
8. Can't Trust Your Neighbor 4:57 (Hayes/Porter, Irving Music Inc., BMI)
9. Big City 6:28 (Haggard/Holloway, Sony/ATV Songs LLC, BMI)
10. Expressions Of Tenderness 4:45 (Ken Saydak, Margan Music, BMI)
11. Great Northern Stomp 3:57 (Otis Spann, Phonoco/Black Lion)
12. Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven 6:23 (Don Nix, Irving Music Inc., BMI)
13. Illinois 3:36 (Ken Saydak, Margan Music, BMI)

Produced by Ken Saydak
Album Production and Supervision: Robert G. Koester
Recorded at Riverside Studio on January 8, 9, 10 and 25, 2001 by Steve Wagner

Photography: James Fraher
Design: Kate Hoddinott

Love Without Trust

You say you love me, but do you trust me?
I have to ask myself, do I trust you?
Love boils hot like a pot of coffee
But trust takes time like a pot of stew
Love without trust is like bread without a crust
It’s kind of messy

About our love we are fanatic
The fire burns deep and the fire burns hot
But that don’t mean that trust is automatic
You got to earn what you ain’t got
Love without trust is like a school without a bus
It’s kind of empty

Do you believe everything I say?
Who’s with you when I’m away?
Am I like all the rest?
Are you like them, too?
Do you trust me?
Can I trust you?

Every man is an island
Every woman is a loner, too
The best we can do is to keep on smiling
You trust me and I’ll put my faith in you
Love without trust is like a cop without a bust
It’s kind of useless

Copyright Ken Saydak 1999, Margan Music, BMI


Time is my keeper
Time holds the key
The key to this heartache
That’s shackling me
But there is no pardon
No governor’s call
No one to save me
I’m taking the fall
Emotional shakedown
Right down to the bone
I’m having a breakdown
On my way home

I keep getting better
At the things that I do
The years keep on rolling
I just keep rolling, too
But I got a notion
That if I swallowed my pride
I could measure my motion
In the tears that I cried
Poised for the takedown
As I wrestle alone
I’m having a breakdown
On my way home

My daddy told me
Son, news isn’t new
They’ve always been doing
All the things that we do
But I take no comfort
In those words that he said
I still have to travel
The road up ahead
I don’t mean to say
That I‘m traveling alone
We‘re all gonna break down
Before we get home
Emotional shakedown
Right down to the bone
I’m having a breakdown
On my way home

Copyright Ken Saydak 1993, Margan Music, BMI

Don’t Blame The Messenger

Don’t blame the messenger
For bringing bad news
Don’t blame the messenger
For giving you the blues
He’s only bringing around
What’s already coming down
Don’t blame the messenger

Don’t blame the pouring rain
For falling on you alone
Don’t blame the pouring rain
For soaking you to the bone
You’ve got to get inside
Before the storm arrives
Don’t blame the pouring rain

Don’t blame the innocent
For bloodstains on their hands
Don’t blame the innocent
For suffering the fate of man
They only got in the way
Of things that happen every day
Don’t blame the innocent

Copyright Ken Saydak 2000, Margan Music, BMI

I Got You So Bad

Ever since the day I met you
I couldn’t leave you alone
Even though I knew the price
Would be my happy home
But now we’ve been together
And the feeling’s still the same
Every time you call my name

I had to leave someone I loved
To love somebody new
And I’m sure glad you understand
All the pain that put me through
Sometimes I think it would have been best
To leave it as it was
But I need you just because

I got you so bad
I got you so bad
I got you so bad
And I’ll never let you go

Copyright Ken Saydak 1993, Margan Music, BMI

Expressions of Tenderness

Animals mate because it’s their fate
To their destiny they must say yes
But people will fight to hold on to the right
To expressions of tenderness

Bees have no choice and birds have no voice
In spite of the sweet songs they sing
What sets us apart is the joy in our hearts
That expressions of tenderness bring

It might be the squeeze of a hand
When the teardrops start falling
Or a kiss on the cheek
That may cause them to end
It might be a woman and man
When passion is calling
Or the feelings they share
As lovers and friends

Now the world’s a big place and there’s plenty of space
To put solitude to the test
But what keeps us aligned is the comfort we find
In expressions of tenderness

Copyright Ken Saydak 1993, Margan Music, BMI


Just on highway 71
Side-view mirror full of setting sun
Off on the shoulder, take a look at a map
We’re on the right track, kids are sleeping in the back
Cornfields stretching out for miles and miles
See another soul every little while
Smells I remember from when I was a boy
I’m just a kid from Illinois

Illinois, a big piece of flat land
But it was home to a woman and a man
Woman and a man had a little boy
I’m that kid from Illinois

I’ve made this trip about a thousand times
Same old barns, same white lines
126 up to the interstate
Flying on home to my city on the lake
Smokestacks still on a Sunday night
Skyline orange in the day’s last light
Photograph frozen in the mind of a boy
I’m just a kid from Illinois

In Illinois you can see for days
From down along Kentucky up north along the way
To the stone walls out where the water breaks
From the Shawnee Forest to the Chain o’ Lakes
From Calhoun County to the beach at Zion
From the Mississippi River to the Indiana line
I can’t lay claim to a Rocky Mountain high
I’m just a kid from Illinois

Illinois is just a handshake deal
From the steel mills out to the soybean fields
Fields I walked when I was just a little boy
I’m just a kid from Illinois

Copyright Ken Saydak 1993, Margan Music, BMI

I have always been a reader of album liner notes, and I have gathered much misinformation from them for years. Many of my longest-held misconceptions about musicians, music, and the music business have come from the gospel of the liner notes. So, in what I hope will be a matter of at least some interest to all of you liner-note readers (as you obviously are), I would like to share some excerpts from a letter that I received from a blues fan in Serbia. I have no idea how many blues fans there are in Serbia, but it is a comfort to know that this music reaches the places that so surely need it. I think about this letter now every time I feel a sense of injustice over not finding a parking space close enough to the gig. KS

Dear Mr. Saydak,

Let me apologize at the outset for taking some of your time with this long writing. Excuse me for having as a subject of it a matter that might appear to you unimportant and insignificant to bother or pay any attention to, but believe me, it means very much to me. I sincerely hope, if you’d read it through, you’d understand me best and why it means so much to me.
I am a dedicated blues fan, a seasoned record collector, a connoisseur and an occasional writer on blues, on an amateur basis, in a local paper. Over the years I have built a modest in number but a select collection. Of course, it is not even close to what I’d like it to be considering the wealth of great blues records issued in the good ol’ USA. I know that I can’t have them all, no fan can. Still, I regret that until this very day, I wasn’t in a position to obtain some of those that I’ve been craving for years. But I never give up hope and one day, with God’s help, I may obtain, at least, one of them…
I presume it is no news for you that for a blues fan living in this part of the world, in undemocratic social systems, under totalitarian and oppressive regimes and low living conditions such as they were here for the last five decades and, unfortunately, still are, obtaining a blues record from abroad or subscribing to a blues magazine, has never been easy, due to various obstacles, main being ideological and financial. Thus it has brought more pleasure and joy every time. I’ve managed to obtain one, but with great difficulty and always having had to sacrifice things essential for living. It is much more difficult in this respect now, due to this miserable situation my country is coming through.
Because of that horrible civil war of a couple of years ago, the recent ravaging two months NATO airstrikes and the effects of the hardships they caused; isolation and embargo, devastated economy, hyperinflation, unemployment and outright poverty, lack of the essential things that make a decent life, mental frustrations, unbearable feeling of hopelessness and the loss of any prospects toward the future, we face a very cruel and gruesome reality, with many of us here, literally, on the verge of survival. In a situation where the most important human and social values are being destroyed and all moral principles and basic human and civil rights violated, when people are deprived of ordinary needs and simple, small pleasures, it is really hard to make some sense out of life and find something we could lay our hopes for a better life on. Many people here could not find it and many people here eat, drink and sleep desperation, disappointment and resignation. I am one of these people still, refusing to give up hope. To escape the depressing every day struggle and the ugliness that surrounds me, I try to forget with the help of that wonderful blues music and good literature. They dispel my somber moods and raise my spirit.
But I can hardly remember the last time I‘ve had the chance to add to my collection or read a quality blues magazine and not to talk about enjoying a hot new blues release. Now and then, if I got lucky, I’d make an exchange with a fellow music fan from Europe…I’ve never had much to offer that would be of interest to a music fan exposed regularly to so many fine records of any musical styles, in his own country. And what I’d receive of blues so little and so irregularly, could never satisfy not even a bit of my enormous hunger for blues. So in a situation like that I can only dream about it. Or dare to hope that you could afford to spare me a promotional copy of this fine CD of yours…
Dear Mr. Saydak, times are really tough here and a man needs something for the spirit, mind and heart to help him make it through this misery. And blues music can be a great healer too. I’ve never wanted nothing big from life nor could I afford it, being at the low end of the socio-economic ladder. I’ve always wanted nothing but these simple things such as music, that satisfy my soul and emotions.
Someone once said that people who create, promote and support that great blues music, have a particular kind of sensibility that extends far beyond the music into every aspect of life and human condition, and he’s right. I sincerely believe in it, as, I am sure, you do too. That gives me faith and hope that you’ll understand why I feel this way about it and that you’ll be so kind and let me hear from you.
So looking forward to it, I wish all the best to your career and much rewards from your music. May the Lord lay a special blessing on your noble activity and your private life and your family’s. May your prayers for the recovery of my country and my people be with us all.
God Bless us All.
Serbia, Yugoslavia

Other Delmark albums of interest:
Ken Saydak, Foolish Man (725)
The Big DooWopper, All In The Joy (742)
Piano Red, Dr. Feelgood (740)
Biddle Street Barrelhousin’ (739) with Speckled Red, Stump Johnson...
Sunnyland Slim, Smile On My Face (735) with Lacy Gibson
House Rent Party (655) with Willie Mabon, St. Louis Jimmy...
Aaron Moore, Boot ’Em Up (731) with James Wheeler
Hello World (695) with James Wheeler
Memphis Slim, Memphis Slim U.S.A. (710) with Matt "Guitar" Murphy
Albert Ammons, Boogie Woogie Stomp (705) with Meade Lux Lewis, Pete
Harry "The Hipster" Gibson, Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs. Murphy’s
Ovaltine? (687)
Pete Johnson, Central Avenue Boogie (656)
Blues Piano Orgy (626) with Sunnyland Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, Otis Spann...
Speckled Red, The Dirty Dozens (601)
Roosevelt Sykes, Hard Drivin’ Blues (607)
Gold Mine (616)
Feel Like Blowing My Horn (632) with Robert Jr. Lockwood
Raining In My Heart (642)

Call or write for a free catalog of jazz and blues:
Delmark Records 1800 684 3480
4121 N. Rockwell
Chicago, IL 60618
C P 2001 Delmark Records

Martha and Morgan, I love you. To my dear friend, Mark Hannon, I thank you for years of laughter, hours and hours of music (with a smattering of Hannonesque extra-long breaks), and a real education about so many things from a well-informed, enthusiastic professor. You truly are a student of this world and a lover of life, and you have had a profound influence on so many people in this city for so long. Most importantly, you have been a prolific producer of smiles. I love you, too.

My thanks to the musicians with whom I have had the pleasure of working: Ron Sorin, great friend and incredible player who has found his own voice on the harmonica. Greg Bigger, solid, steady, and from the frying pan smack into the fire. Who says Frenchmen can’t play the blues? John Brumbach, the Major, the Quiet Giant, no word yet devised to describe the ultra degree of cool found here. Harlan Terson, what would the Chicago blues scene be without you? It‘s been a hell of a trip, and it continues. Bob Levis, an original, one of the few rhythm guitarists still around. When they made Bob, he broke the mold. Mark Wydra, a musician’s musician, he can play it all, over by dere. Rob Amster, once again, one take and it couldn’t be better. James Wheeler, poised to make his own mark on the world stage, pure Chicago blues. Bob Stroger, this guy is a gift to the world, from the steady bass to the beaming smile. Roberta (The Choir) Thomas, she has been given a beautiful gift of song and she has used it so well. What a pro! Roland Miller, the only man I know that would come all the way up from St. Louis on a day’s notice, just to help out a friend. Roland, you are a rascal, a racconteur, and rib royalty. Happy 67th!

Special thanks to Bob Koester for the independence and creative freedom he grants his artists, to Lenny Pinkus and Pat Brennan for their technical assistance, to Fritz (Big Daddy) Jakober, Guido (Mojo Boogie) Schmidt, Michael Hauser, Gody Berger and Didier Tricard for their overseas support, to Alain Recaborde for his continued interest and help, to Bill Dahl for his dependable archival assistance.

Email Ken Saydak at
Ken Saydak's website is


KEN SAYDAK, a native of Chicago, Illinois, has enjoyed a fifty-year career as a musician, writer, vocalist, and producer. He currently hosts a two-hour weekly blues radio program, The Trinidaddio Blues Hours on
KCRT-FM, a commercial station near his home in southern Colorado.

2018 saw the release of a long awaited project, The Rockwell Avenue Blues Band, Back To Chicago, featuring Ken along with lifelong friends and collaborators Steve Freund, Tad Robinson, Harlan Terson, and Marty Binder in a collection of original songs. The rave reviews of this Delmark Records release by a stellar group of Chicago veterans resulted in the band’s appearance at the 2018 Chicago Blues Festival (where Ken also performed solo on the mainstage in a tribute to Delmark’s legendary catalog of renowned blues artists). The band also appeared at the 2019 Trinidaddio Blues Festival.

Ken is the pianist, organist, and accordionist on over seventy albums by national and international artists. His 2015 release, Live In La Veta Vol. 2 (SnailWorx), and 2013’s Live In La Veta Vol. 1 follow his other solo-career recordings, It’s My Soul (Evidence Records) in 2005 and two discs on the Delmark label, Love Without Trust (2001) and his solo debut, Foolish Man (1999). All of his recordings showcase his instantly recognizable vocals and piano style, as well as his insightful, engaging, and often humorous songwriting.

A co-producer of the two Rounder Records CDs with his 1990’s American roots band, Big Shoulders, Big Shoulders and Nickel History, he also produced his latest SnailWorx albums, both of his Delmark CDs, blues singer Zora Young‘s critically acclaimed 2000 release, Learned My Lesson (Delmark), and international blues ambassador and bassist Bob Stroger‘s solo debut, In The House, recorded live at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland.

Ken’s career as a performer has taken him to concert and festival stages on four continents, including extensive tours and appearances in Europe, Israel,
South Africa, and Japan. The list of artists who have enlisted his talents both on stage and in the studio include Johnny Winter, Otis Rush, Willie Kent,
Bo Diddley, Lonnie Brooks, John Primer, Mighty Joe Young, Billy Boy Arnold, Sam Lay, Dave Specter, James Wheeler, Tad Robinson,
Lurrie Bell, Mississippi Heat, Bonnie Lee, Steve Freund, Zora Young, Johnny B. Moore, Karen Carroll, Eddie Shaw, The Cash Box Kings,
Billy Flynn, Jesse Fortune, Barkin’ Bill Smith, Bandallamas, Alex Wilson, Paul Filipowicz, Al Miller, and Ron Sorin.

Here’s what the critics have said:

“…Then there is Ken Saydak. It is his songwriting and singing that make him sound like a barroom bard, street sage and soapbox preacher all rolled into one cat disguised as a gifted pianist and organist…”
David Mac – Blues Junction Productions

“Ken Saydak has built an impressive body of work with his three solo albums and his studio work…It’s My Soul is his best stand-alone project yet”…
Chicago Sun-Times

“Though veteran session man and Big Shoulders bandleader Ken Saydak has left Chicago, his commitment to America’s greatest music remains unabated. On It’s My Soul, the singer-songwriter-keyboardist bolsters the canons of blues and roots music with a dozen compelling new songs, delivered with gruffly good-natured vocals and towering piano and organ performances….It’s My Soul is an excellent listen.”
Blues Revue Magazine

“It’s My Soul…reaches back through labels and categories to clutch the still-pumping heart of the simple and glorious music that became rock ‘n’ roll – the seminal, simmering soul stew bursting with different but related flavors: the twangs of country music, the tangs of New Orleans R&B, the heart pangs of gospel, and the ka-bang! of the blues…
All About Jazz

“Vocalist/keyboardist and Windy City blues vet Ken Saydak is a gripping frontman…”
Billboard Magazine

“With a rock-solid left hand pumping out the rhythms and a right hand that lightly caresses the keys one moment and pounds them into boogie-woogie submission the next, he demonstrates why the piano has retained a prominent spot in the blues world despite the glut of guitar slingers.”
Blues Revue Magazine

“Our man is a true blues pianist all around, at the same time soft and deep, a worthy heir to Otis Spann, a champion of an instrument which has lost its prestige. In addition, he’s a sensitive composer, occasionally autobiographical, absolutely gifted for socio-economic or philosophical vignettes about daily life and human relationships.”
Soul Bag Magazine, Paris

“Frontman Ken Saydak has a huge, gruff vocal delivery and a flair for writing involved, strong compositions that – while blues-drenched – are often lyrically uplifting and musically complex. Saydak looks far beyond booze, cheating, partying and heartbreak for inspiration.”
Twin Cities Reader

“Ken Saydak is an artist and a poet.”
Al Lewis – KBAI-FM New York City

  • Members:
    Ken Saydak, Ron Sorin, Bob Stroger, Mark Wydra, Greg Bigger, Harlan Terson, Bob Levis, John Brumbach, Rob Amster
  • Sounds Like:
    Ken Saydak - original, witty songwriting, gritty, soulful vocals, and blues piano mastery!
  • Influences:
    Chicago blues piano, Johnny Winter, Otis Rush, Willie Kent, Bo Diddley, Lonnie Brooks, John Primer, Mighty Joe Young, Billy Boy Arnold, Sam Lay, James Wheeler, Bonnie Lee, Zora Young, Johnny B. Moore, Karen Carroll, Eddie Shaw, Jesse Fortune, Barkin’ B
  • AirPlay Direct Member Since:
  • Profile Last Updated:
    12/28/23 05:48:30

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