By Tom Clarke
Having first risen grandly in a slightly softer shade over Georgia some 15 years ago, Delta Moon continues to glint like burnished heirloom diamonds no matter where they twist and shout. Often these days, they set like a brilliant detonation overseas. They play direct, dirt-strewn blues, but the dual slide guitars of Tom Gray and Mark Johnson single them out.
Life’s a Song: Live Volume One was culled mostly from a hot night at Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse in North Carolina. Local harp legend Mel Melton owns the place, and helps wake the hell out of the jittery “Black Coffee.” At the end, Melton huffs puffs and shivers through their imposing take on Slim Harpo’s “Shake Your Hips.” A preview of Gray’s new “The Wrong Side of Town” rocks in the pocket, and is one of the many high points caught on Turn Around When Possible: Live Volume Two, from a rousing show in Bremen, Germany. A first-recorded slow burn through Skip James’ “Hard Times Killing Floor Blues” also makes a deep impression that night. The guitars twine as if snakes in the underbrush, with Gray’s voice their unnerving charmer. Any band that retains its individuality in a traditional blues demands attention. Delta Moon pulls tides of fans their way. ividuality in a traditional blues demands attention. Delta Moon pulls tides of fans their way.