Delta Moon Set to Shine at Big House
By Rachel Sullivan
When you add the talents of Tom Gray, the man the American Roots Music Association named 2008 Blues Songwriter of the Year, Mark Johnson, who self-proclaims his obsession with the bottle neck slide, drummer Darren Stanley and bassist Franher Joseph, who have played together since they marched in the band at the University of Georgia, you get the unusual but addictive combination that forms the basis for Delta Moon.
On their recent tour through Germany, singer/songwriter and guitarist Gray wrote some of his thoughts in the blog on the band’s website. There, he recalled a quote from guitarist Muddy Waters, who played a key role in the development of electric blues and rock ’n’ roll, wherein Waters allegedly said, “I’m not a singer. I’m not a guitar player. What I do is put the devil in the room.”
Delta Moon is set to perform outside the Big House Museum on Saturday.
Gray responded in his own ponderings that Waters captured the real meaning of being a musician, “And that’s it right there, the musician’s job — not to be a tool of Satan of course (we try for a more positive spirit), but to connect human souls together through a feeling in the room. Music is not just about the notes any more than literature is about the words or painting is about the paint. Technique is important, but with a weak or false heart even the best technique accomplishes nothing.”
In a recent e-mail interview, Gray describes the beginning of his love affair with the blues.
“I first discovered blues through rock music, back when I was a teenager,” he said. “I traced the influences of musicians and bands I liked and discovered that often original blues was deeper and more moving than the rock music modeled after it. But I liked it all. So I kept exploring.”
As the band was winding up their German tour, Gray shared a few words of wisdom.
“I’m writing this on a laptop in the back of a van speeding down the German autobahn,” he wrote. “They treat you right here … but we find people are people wherever we go. In Tennessee they might offer us homemade peach moonshine; here they offer homemade elderberry schnapps.”
Their first stop stateside will be in Macon.
“We’ve played in Macon several times before, but never felt we’d found the right venue for our band until we played on the Big House lawn for the first time last year. They’ve really done an impressive job with the museum, and the people there — staff and fans alike — were just great. So we’re looking forward to coming back.”