Delta Moon: Low Down
By Rick J. Bowen
Atlanta’s sultans of swamp and slide Delta Moon return with their tenth album ‘Low Down,’ with more of their trademark laid back blues and roots rock. Many bands boast a slide guitarist, but few have two. The tag team of Mark Johnson and Tom Gray, who also carries the lead vocals, work together in a tight harmony that can only be achieved by years of due diligence.
The album opens with the first of nine new tunes, aptly titled “Wrong Side of Town,” with its rumbling boogie telling you that you have just left the mainstream for something much grittier.
A slinky second line from drummer Marlon Patton supports the morality riddle “Afterglow.” Francine Reed adds keen backing vocals to Gray’s scolding “Nothing You Can Tell a Fool.” The title track is a country blues reading of the Tom Waits tune, which bookends nicely with Dylan’s “Down In The Flood,” delivered with a hip North Mississippi style groove.
The rhythm section percolates between swing, rumba and a bit of Bo Diddley during the infectious “Open All Night.” Gray aptly leads the acoustic centered meditation on the Skip James standard, “Hard Times Killing Floor,” with solemnity and honor. The quartet shifts gears and ends the set with three of their patented swampy rockin’ blues tunes that are sure to be staples of the band’s touring club set.