By Glen Silverthorn
It had been some time since I’d taken in the regular Saturday afternoon blues sessions at the Liquid Lounge. But I was sure glad I attended this past week as a top line band from Atlanta, Ga., was in town to treat blues fans with some great southern style blues tunes.
The band, which calls itself Delta Moon, made its second visit to the Lounge. A couple of years ago, they appeared here they were also booked at the Kitchener Blues Festival.
This four-piece group headed by lead singer/songwriter/lap guitarist Tom Gray really pumps out a lot of powerful originals, which have a deep sounding driving beat coming from drummer [Darren Stanley] and bassman Franher Joseph.
What is amazing about the sound is the fantastic slide bar on the strings of both Tom’s guitar and guitarist Mark Johnson who also employs the slide bar to create some beautiful improvisational harmonies to the arrangements. The dual slide guitars seem to create a deep south feeling to all the songs which make up the show.
Most of the song material is original and written by Gray and pieces like “Blues in a Bottle”, “Get Gone”, and “Black Cat Oil” are real showcases for Gray’s blues oriented voice which had an edge to it sounding a bit like Rod Stewart. This voice quality really lent itself excellently to the expressive delivery of Gray’s lyrics. Some rich bass vocal harmony was added from time to time by bassist Joseph.
Black Cat Oil is the name of the band’s seventh album produced in 2012 and contains eleven tracks and, with the exception of one, all were written by Gray or with others in the band. He has been named songwriter of the year, 2008, by the American Roots Music Association and his songs have been recorded by Cyndi Lauper (including the hit, “Money Changes Everything”), Manfred Mann, Carlene Carter and many others. Johnson came up with the name “Delta Moon” after a pilgrimage to Muddy Waters cabin near Clarkesdale, Miss.
The band’s newest album produced this year from three live performances is called, Life’s A Song.
While speaking with Gray at the break he told me that the band likes to come to Canada during the summer to get away from the Atlanta heat. They also had gigs in Sarnia, Kincardine, London and Kitchener.
Earlier in the year the band toured Italy and Germany. They have upcoming gigs in Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala., and Charlotte, N.C., and had to get back south on Sunday. We hope to see a return next summer.