By Dave Kidman
Delta Moon Album: Live Volumes 1 & 2
Label: Self Released
Delta Moon is an Atlanta (Georgia) based combo purveying straight-down-the-line, honest-to-goodness contemporary Southern blues-rock that derives its lineage from Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers and Mick-Taylor-period Rolling Stones, with a soupcon of Z.Z. Top thrown in too perhaps. The ideal kind of thing for a live barroom gig, then — and this pair of well-filled discs (clocking in at 74 and 54 minutes respectively) does the trick nicely thanks, if at times a touch predictably.
Suitably gritty-voiced and authentic, much of their material is self-penned (albeit with a wry slant) by lead vocalist and lap steel guitarist Tom Gray (occasionally in tandem with fellow-band-members), with the rest of the sets taken up with time-honoured blues standards given a wakin’ and a shakin’ workout, if not exactly a makeover for our own times.
The personnel on these live albums (recorded in 2012 and 2013) seems to have settled at Tom Gray, Mark Johnson, Franher Joseph and Darren Stanley, and they work together commendably and in the approved fashion, rather beyond reproach as far as detailed criticism goes.
Maybe it’s too much of a good thing for a repeated home-listening experience, and the duplication of three of the numbers (Black Coffee, Get Gone and Goin’ Down South) — and in performances that aren’t radically different — doesn’t exactly help matters. In the end, enjoyable though the music of Delta Moon is, and notwithstanding the fact that the band sure deliver in the live situation, there’s a suspicion of skilled-but-workmanlike rather than standing out from the crowd, and I admit I enjoyed their studio albums more. But then, live albums have to be something just a bit extra-special to cut it, don’t they?….