Review of Life’s a Song – Live Volume 1 in Ruta 66 (Spain)

Delta Moon: Life’s a Song – Live Volume One

By Manel Celeiro

Ruta 66 (Follow this link for the original Spanish text.)

September 2014

Tom Gray and Mark Johnson met at a music store, one trying to sell the other a secondhand Dobro, the ideal scenario for what would come later. The transaction was not consummated, but that day they exchanged phone numbers and shortly thereafter, in early 2000, already were touring the local circuit of bars and gambling dens accompanied by a changing rhythm section under the name of Delta Moon.

Workers, and very effective, all this time they have earned respect from the blues-based community for constant touring and recordings that preserve the primary spirit of the style. Nominated for numerous awards, and winners of many of them, there is no doubt that their natural habitat is, as it must be, the stage.

And that’s where this recording captures them. Registering their peculiar way of tackling the genre, providing it with a lazy trot, a laid back style close to that of a giant like the late JJ Cale, crossed by two guitars complementing each other to perfection, two extremely effective axes that prevent getting lost in unnecessary technical fanfare to smear the rhythmical and vital heartbeat of the blues. Topped with threats of country and rock roots approaching close to Hill Country Blues territories inhabited by the Dickinson brothers with their North Mississippi Allstars. Give a good look at some of the best songs of their career: “Hell Bound Train”, “Black Cat Oil”, “Black Coffee”, “Life’s a Song”, “Lap Dog” and recreate successful readings of “You Got To Move” by Fred Mc Dowell, “Goin ‘Down South” by RL Burnside and “Shake Your Hips” by James Moore.

Very, very good. Amazing to hear.

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