Delta Moon – Low Down
By Tom Clarke
You can have more chops than a slaughterhouse on delivery day, but if the delivery’s run-of-the-mill and the songs aren’t there, it’ll all be for naught. These are not concerns in the realm of Delta Moon. Fans the world over know that each and every time the Atlanta-based band rises up and gets Low Down on a new album, they’re in for a special ride. Tail draggin’, whip-snappin’, blues, roots, you name it. The title of their eleventh album not only derives from a countrified, back porch-loping tune about a lady too hot for her own good, but also from how founders Tom Gray and Mark Johnson—both excellent slide guitarists—intermingle with each other and the clockwork rhythms of bassist Franher Joseph and drummer Marion Patton.
Once upon a time, there was a lady in the Moon. That lady fades in the memory more and more over time because of the way Gray sings his own clever songs in a progressively tuneful, dusty growl. But on the galloping “Wrong Side of Town,” slinky “Nothing You Can Tell a Fool,” and unique backwater rumble through Bob Dylan’s “Down in the Flood,” he does get superb assists from soul great Francine Reed. Whether addressing infatuation and love, or just plain foolishness, Gray and company create contexts and patterns of crying, cutting slide that draw you in and back constantly, like a riptide.