Black Cat Oil
By Mary Leary
Summer’s almost here. Delta Moon’s honey-sweet slide guitar sounds will be perfect on hot, humid days and warm, dry nights. But do you have to be incredibly depressed and/or have lost your dog, (wo)man, house, and/or skateboard to earn the title, “Blues Songwriter of the Year”? Delta Moon’s principal tunesmith, Tom Gray was given that trophy by the American Roots Music Association in 2008. So you get a reward for being down. Sounds kind of like being Jewish, or Catholic. Abandoning those musings for the moment, I’m here to report that Delta Moon has a new full-length (record) full of blues that combine gutsiness with casual delivery; hence, a sense of uneasiness that could be in the dictionary next to contemporary blues. Calling on influences including Mississippi Fred McDowell and Robert Johnson, Gray conjures blues for listeners who like ‘em sparse and crusty – the guitars take the place of the Greek chorus; moaning and testifying to the emotions behind Gray’s words. These guys have the chops to let the music stand without any added frippery: No distorted tones. No extra tracks. Black Cat Oil is clean and simple.