Review of “Turn Around When Possible – Live Volume 2” in FAME

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

by Mark S. Tucker

Delta Moon - Turn Around When Possible - Live, Vol. 2

Delta Moon’s Turn Around When Possible is the second half of a two-part set (the review of the first, Life’s a Song, can be found here), charting a concert they had in Germany. Vol. 1 was strictly U.S. bred. Weighing in at just under an hour, Turn features a slate of 10 cuts with one that’s a bit of surprise: Nightclubbing by David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Never expected to find that one covered by these guys, but they turn in a righteous version much dug by the krautische crowd. Black Coffee makes a re-appearence from Vol. 1, of course with a completely different set of solos, the kind of thing we collectors hunger for, and Goin’ Down South likewise, another jam cut also on Vol. 1, which gets the same treatment, deliciously so.

Tom Gray, the front man (guitars, vocals), sings with a gravelly voice intoning many years of weary travel through life, of wisdom via experiences hard won, and of a street existentialist’s philosophizing. This of course brings on the blues, and that’s what Delta Moon is 100% about, a Chicago / Texas version that sometimes seems as though it’s poised to evolve into jump (Wrong Side of Town) but maintains its groove just short of that, much more swampy, very little of the Manhattan Uptown or Harlem scene. He also plays a slide that goes down quite easy and sometimes waxes eerie (Get Gone), Mark Johnson always catching his back on second lead and rhythm.

Darren Stanley keeps a rock steady beat through both volumes, and Franher Joseph plays bass just above him, filling in the spaces and coloring the mid-ground. The cover of Skip James’ Hard Times Killing Floor Blues is like a cross between a mellowed-down Dire Straits and a section from a Sergio Leone spaghetti western, balladic and blue, a classic rough luck lament. It’s the slowest tempo the group lays into and creates a hazy, smoky, dusty, late afternoon pool of reflection and somnolence. That’s It, however, closes the set down by pounding the floorboards before turning into a J. Geils Band meets Mark Knopfler number. In Turn Around, as in Life’s a Song and all their other releases, Delta Moon remains rock steady.

Track List:

  • Midnight Train (Chapman / Gray / Johnson)
  • Black Coffee (Gray / Johnson / Joseph / Patton)
  • The Wrong Side of Town (Tom Gray)
  • Get Gone (Gray / Johnson)
  • Shake ‘Em On Down (Fred McDowell)
  • Hard Times Killing Floor Blues (Skip James)
  • Goin’ Down South (R. L. Burnside)
  • True Love Lies (Gray / Johnson)
  • Nightclubbing (Bowie / Pop)
  • That’s It (Tom Gray)
Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.

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