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Review of Low Down in Il Blues (Italy)

Il Blues (Follow this link for the original Italian text.)

Delta Moon

Low Down

By Luca Zaninello

After a few years, we are discussing once again Delta Moon, a band founded by the guitarist and singer, Tom Gray and Mark Johnson, talented slide guitarist, who are back with this eleventh work of theirs, side to side with the bassist Franher Joseph and the drummer Marlon Patton. Since their discographic debut in 2002, until today the four of them have consolidated their array of roots music, blues, enriched by a harmony between the two leaders that you can feel from the very first notes.

The CD opens with the captivating “Wrong Side Of Town”, which immediately determines the personality of the entire album: simple and catchy riffs, precise accents on the slide, which also gives the solos a notable quality. The blues matrix prevails constantly, as we can hear in the following “Afterglow”, for example. The almost hypnotic trend makes plenty of space for the hoarse voice of Gray, or later in the insistent phrasing of “Down In The Flood”, an excellent interpretation of the classic from Bob Dylan.

With the pleasant “Nothing You Can Tell A Fool” we continue on the same basis, in which the Delta’s flavors are particularly accentuated, and which are even stronger in Skip James’ “Hard Times Killing Floor Blues”, from tones that are particularly dramatic and dark. However, the album reserves the most enthralling, like in the airy “Mean Streak” which, also thanks to the use of keyboards, it configures almost as a rock ballad, instead of the short and happy “Open All Night” or even in “Spark In The Dark”, both composed by Tom Gray, where we appreciate in particular the lively dialogue between the two guitarists. Nevertheless, “Lowdown”, the other cover of the album (Tom Waits), is immediately catchy, very fresh and pleasant in its simplicity. The last tracks are still compositions of Gray, characterized by the lively and addicting rhythm, and by the vocal parts sung with many voices. From the jammin’ “Mayfly” we move to the uptempo “Jelly Roll” to finish with the hot groove of “Jacky Ray”, emphasized from the Hammond, always played by Tom Gray. The harmony and togetherness of the Delta Moon are definitely one of the elements that characterize the quality of their musical proposal, destined to consolidate the follow-up of the band not just in American territory but also in Europe, Italy included, where they are coming off a short and appreciated tour.

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