“Hellbound Train” Review in “Music in Belgium”

MUSIC IN BELGIUM
December 15, 2009
(Translated from French to English)

DELTA MOON – You’ll Never Get to Heaven On a Hellbound Train

Unlike Howlin’ At the Southern Moon, released in 2008, this album is not a compilation. It is the new the studio opus of Delta Moon, an American group from Atlanta. It follows Clear Blue Flame, which was released in 2007. There are almost no cover songs here, but pieces written by the duet leading the combo, i.e. the guitarists Tom Gray and Mark Johnson.

It is Tom Gray who sings. His voice has shades of Southern blues, with this little bluesy slightly torn grain, a marvel. He takes us on board his Hellbound Train. The groove of the rhythm section is unobtrusive but effective. Delta Moon offers us a blues-rock’n’roll with shades of Allman Brothers, of Rolling Stones in the era of Mick Taylor, even of Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green. As they do that with plenty of feeling, they do not fail to captivate us.

Among the revealing pieces, there is this “Room 429,” a song with great sensitivity. One would almost cry. The melancholic “Lonely” marks the rhythm of the iron horse. One will also appreciate the very Stones-ish “Stuck In Carolina”, the transcendent “Ain’t No Train” or the stripped bare “Plantation Song.”

There is only one cover, but a big one. It’s “You Got To Move” by Fred McDowell, a title that was in particular taken by the Rolling Stones. We told you in the review of Howlin’ at the Southern Moon the band included “Shake ‘Em On Down” by the same McDowell.

If you like blues-rock’n’roll coming straight from the South of the United States, you will like this new Delta Moon, for sure! Shades of John Lee Hooker, R.L. Burnside, Robert Johnson or J.J. Cale hover over the group. An album which brings us back to the roots of the blues for our pleasure!

Jean-Pierre Lhoir
(Four stars)

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