“Hellbound Train” Review in Glitterhouse Catalog (Germany)

[Translated from German to English]

Delta Moon
You’ll Never Get to Heaven on a Hellbound Train

New studio album from the band out of Atlanta. After some reshuffling this tight foursome has steadied itself, led as usual by the two guitarists Tom Gray and Mark Johnson. The two are absolute masters of the slide guitar, bottleneck and lap steel. Fans of this style of playing will get their money’s worth.

The style of last year’s 18-track “best-of,” Howlin’ at the Southern Moon, is continued consistently: not too heavy, not too bland, but always with lush grooves. Very Southern, very laid back, and somehow always with one foot in the swamp. In principle I see it somewhere between the early rocking tunes of Tony Joe White and the feeling of the first few ZZ Top albums. Sometimes I’m reminded of a turbo version of J.J. Cale with shades of Chris Smither (whose gravely voice is reminiscent of Tom Gray’s) and Sonny Landreth.

The album is rich, as previously mentioned, with lots of slide guitar, but also very efficient and to the point. I’m strongly reminded of my hero Lowell George, whose short, concise runs could say more than many technically adept but soulless master guitarists. With “You Got To Move” being the only cover, the other 10 songs were written by the band.

A description of the band is printed on the back of the digipak (CD plus 12-page booklet): Deeply rooted in the Delta, their gritty voiced, dusty Southern Blues has a unique resonance driven by the interweaving twin slide guitars that have earned Delta Moon comparisons to prolific two guitar acts like the Rolling Stones and the Allman Brothers.

The concluding name dropping does not do the band justice. The aforementioned comparisons are better suited.

If you can handle that, you will not be disappointed. Far from it.

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