“Life’s a Song – Live Volume One” Review in Rocktimes (Germany)


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Delta Moon / Life’s A Song – Live Volume One

Just as the current European tour of Delta Moon was slipping into the past, I was given their new live album Life’s A Song – Live Volume One, which was, of course, released just before the tour started. To be more precise, the 14 tracks presented here were recorded last year in three concerts in November and December in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, but represent very well the set-list of the concerts in Germany, as the author of these lines was able to discover a few weeks ago at Ducsaal.

Let’s get this straight right away: this CD has a lot of pluses and only a single small minus. To get this out of the way: unfortunately, the very genuine spoken introductions to the songs were cut out, which I personally find unfortunate. Okay, and then there is the ‘booklet’ of only one sheet, but then all the useful information can be found on the back cover.

Not only musically but also sonically, the quartet from Atlanta, Georgia, burns here like nothing expected. Every single instrument can be heard clearly, and also the vocals of Tom Gray have been mixed to exactly the right level, so the live character remains really nice here. For me, a very pleasant flashback to the gig in Freudenburg which I now can pull off the shelf again any time.

Logically, there are many highlights from the band’s own pen such as “Hellbound Train,” “Clear Blue Flame” or “I’m A Witness” to start with, but of course there are also cover songs like  “You Got To Move” by Fred McDowell, “Goin ‘Down South” by R.L. Burnside or the ever-present “Shake Your Hips” by James Moore. In principle, it does not matter what song comes out of the speakers, because Delta Moon has developed such a unique style and the tracks flow and groove so that the entire album from front to back just goes down like oil.

What makes this quartet so special is that they are so authentic that they cannot do otherwise than to sound like the Deep South of the United States. The interplay of the musicians comes seemingly without any effort as from one gear to the next; the songs are self-contained and coherent,; drums and bass create a stunning groove; the gruff vocals of Tom Gray deliver one goosebump after another; and the two (slide) guitars act as if they were temporarily separated but reunited Siamese twins.

Mel Melton, a welcome guest, appears on blues harp at the concert in Durham, North Carolina, for two songs, “Black Coffee” and “Shake Your Hips.” Indeed, given the quality of these pieces this was not even necessary, but still the two guest spots with an additional instrument bring even more spice to the story. Class!

I will not even begin to describe individual songs, because Delta Moon live on stage is a unit, a whole, that should not necessarily be separated. But this does not mean that the pieces can’t be taken to heart and enjoyed individually. It just makes clear how much this combo has convincingly come together with the tracks and thus has put their own unique stamp on them.

Anyone who missed out on their German tour in 2013 for whatever reason should absolutely give a listen here!

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