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Refugee

In our travels last year through Spain, Germany, Italy and eastern Europe we saw a lot of migrants tramping along the roadside, begging and busking in city streets, or camping by fences with nowhere left to go. According to the United Nations, 65 million refugees are wandering the world today, displaced by war, overpopulation and climate change. That’s a lot of people — more than the combined populations of New York and California.

All of us in Delta Moon were affected by what we saw on that trip. When we returned to America Mark wanted to write a song called “Refugee” over a guitar lick he had come up with. The band came up with a chanted chorus and three verses, each in the voice of a particular person we had seen or heard about. (“Issme” is Arabic for “my name is…”) We decided that Franher and I would each speak a verse, and then our friend Kyshona Armstrong came in to deliver the female verse. She also volunteered some harmonies and powerful wailing at the end.

This is an unusual song for Delta Moon, but it’s one we all feel strongly about. When I posted it to YouTube last night the video got its first thumbs down before the tenth view. Voting has continued at roughly four positive for every negative, with a very high ratio of reactions. Everyone seems to feel strongly about it, one way or the other.

Please let us know what you think.

Advance Praise for “Cabbagetown” – No Depression

No Depression

Take a scenic trip with Delta Moon to Cabbagetown

By Rick J Bowen

DELTA MOON – CABBAGETOWN – Jumping Jack Records 

Atlanta’s sultans of slide guitar; the blues and roots rock quartet Delta Moon return with their eighth studio album Cabbagetown, released March 17, 2017, on Jumping Jack Records. The follow-up to the award-winning 2015 release, Low Down, named one of the best blues records of the year by both Downbeat and Blues Music Magazine.  The new album features nine original compositions and a lively cover of Son House’s timeless classic, “Death Letter“.

Award-winning songwriter and lead vocalist Tom Gray once again penned most of the new Delta Moon tracks, showcasing great grooves, thought provoking lyrics, infectious hooks, sweet slide guitar work and mountains of superb tone created at the legendary Bakos Amp Works.

The opening track “Rock and Roll Girl“, is an autobiography of roots rock dreams with a Springsteen like appeal. The free flowing acoustic driven groove of “The Day Before Tomorrow,” has an ultra-optimistic sensibility and alt country flair. Franher Joseph moves to Upright Bass for the mostly acoustic introspective tome “Just Lucky I Guess,” and Gray picks some sublime lap steel guitar on the happy go lucky love song “Coolest Fools.” Delta Moon are not ones to shy away from hot topics, taking on the viewpoint of the silent victims of the world’s problems on the provocative track “Refugee” recanting their plight in multi voiced narratives over a soulful groove. Gray switches to electric piano for the driving “Mad About You, “and drummer Marlon Patton lays down a phat hip hop beat to open the ultra-modern reading of “Death Letter,” with Jon Liebman adding greasy Blues Harmonica, sparring with Gray’s lap steel. Another deep groove is at the center of Gray’s satirical look at our gadget obsessed world on “21st Century Man,” while the back-porch blues that inspired the album title “Cabbagetown Shuffle,” is a lively duel between Gray on Hawaiian guitar and Mark Johnson on Bottleneck slide. Gray leaves us with a lesson about our shared humanity on the gently rocking “Sing Together,” with Johnson preaching to the choir with more of his glistening slide guitar.

Pre-order the New Album

Delta Moon’s new album, CABBAGETOWN, features the band’s signature dual slide guitar sound, but with some new sonic twists. These songs explore fresh territory, inspired by people and scenes the band has experienced at home and in their travels. Five-time Grammy winner Susan Archie is doing the artwork. International distribution is already set up. But to get this music out of the studio and into the world we need your help.

Through PledgeMusic you can pre-order CABBAGETOWN and get the inside track on exclusive information, videos and merchandise not available anywhere else.

Ten percent of any money raised beyond our goal will go to the Music Maker Relief Foundation, which was founded to preserve the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the musicians who make it, ensuring their voices will not be silenced by poverty or time.

To all our supporters, a big thank you, and please tell a friend.

The Revolving Throne

Some of you may know that Delta Moon started without a drummer, way back in the ancient times. Our first gigs were acoustic. It didn’t take us long, though, to crank up the volume. As some guys we once met in Bavaria said, after telling us they had been drinking beer since nine in the morning, “Now we have reached a good level.”

Meanwhile, Delta Moon‘s drum throne continues to spin. Vic Stafford’s broken hand has healed. But now Vic has taken a job running audio for a new TV show at Turner, which is covering his medical bills but has severely cut his ability to travel or take weeknight gigs. Vic will continue to play with the band, but so will Marlon Patton, who played on our last two albums and the recent European tour, along with a new friend, Zack Albetta, and our buddy Yonrico Scott, formerly of the Derek Trucks Band and now with the Royal Southern Brotherhood. No slouches there, any of them.

Here’s video of three songs we played with Marlon on the Closing Time radio show in Trieste, Italy.

Speaking Catalan (or At Least I Tried)

Before Delta Moon’s show in Lleida, Spain, our Spanish agent, Pepe Ferrández, handed me a cardboard box and said, “The government requires that I give this to you.”

The box was labeled with a picture of a winking face and the words un gest per la llengua, which is Catalan for “a gesture towards language”.

There are actually several languages spoken in Spain. The main ones are Spanish (Castillian), used by the government and national media and understood almost everywhere, Galician, which is sort of halfway between Spanish and Portuguese with its own unique elements, Catalan, more like halfway between Spanish and French with its own unique elements, and the Basque language, which is unlike anything else.

The cardboard box contained a kit prepared by the General Directorate for Language Policy of the Ministry of Culture “for scientists and artists who visit Catalonia.” Inside I found a booklet, a set of seven flashcards with phrases like bona nit (Catalan for “good evening”), moltes gràcies (“thank you very much”) and fins aviat (“see you soon”), and a badge with the winking face that actually contained an audio player, with a set of earbuds and a USB connection. I guess the idea was that you could practice the phrases either on your computer in a hotel room or by using the badge while walking down the street or whatever. You could also cue up a phrase, and when it came time to say, “It’s a pleasure to be here with all of you,” just fiddle with the badge and repeat whatever came to your ear.

Bona nit I already knew. I paced up and down the dressing room trying to get the other phrases to flow naturally. On stage that night I spoke half in English, trying to throw in as much Catalan as I could. After the show I asked Pepe how it sounded.

“They got bona nit and fins aviat,” he said.”I don’t think anyone understood anything else you said. But they appreciated that you were trying.”

Concert Review, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Esturion Music (Follow this link for the original Spanish text.)

Written by Angel Marcelo Saffores

DELTA MOON, EXPONENT OF MOST GENUINE SOUTHERN SOUL AND ROCK, LANDED IN COMPOSTELA

It’s Tuesday night and cold. It’s not raining, but the streets of Santiago de Compostela are almost empty. At half past nine when the box office opens, there are already people around the Sala Capitol. Half an hour later the site is two-thirds full. A unique and epicurean audience, knowing they have a unique opportunity , awaits beer in hand as Delta Moon appears to the left of the stage.

With the lights dimmed, the musicians enter and “Midnight Train” starts. From the chords of this song on the album <Howlin’> the intensity of the music and atmosphere will not fail to grow during the 90-minute long concert.

The audience felt the impact of that wonderful southern song that quickly changed the lukewarm applause of the beginning to a standing ovation. The party was started and thereafter it was only dance, sing and be invaded by the quality of the repertoire that followed.

Then came “Lowdown”, an excellent version of a Tom Waits song, and “Open All Night”, mounted on a catchy riff and a unique rhythm, both from the latest album, <Low Down>. Tom Gray and Mark Johnson began to reveal to their audience the virtuosity that characterizes their mourning slides and that is the indelible mark of the band.

It reached this point, fully delivered to an audience that would not stop vibrating with each chord, each counterpoint of the musicians. “Skinny Woman” and “Black Cat Oil” demonstrated the highest musical and performance level of the members of the band, only to make way, almost without catching air, for “Hell Bound Train”, another train moving steadily, ravishing with a swampy, vibrant sound. The applause and cheers did not stop at the end of each song, giving the musicians confidence which increased the party atmosphere.

As in cinema, concerts usually have two turning points in which the show surprises by taking another direction. This first moment happens with “You Got to Move”, a traditional blues with background vocals that do nothing but invite the audience to sing in harmony while moving to the beat of the rhythm section. The band recognizes the symbiosis with people and lengthens the song for the enjoyment of all.

“I’m a Witness”, “Nothing You Can Tell a Fool” and “Afterglow” are the three songs that make up the core of the show. In this space, in the midst of a delirious cacophony of people, the professional musicians unfold all the machinery available to make the show remain in our eyes and hearts for a long time. A surprising counterpoint of slide, like a duel to the death, and a drum solo as perfect as accurate, tell us we’ve reached the summit.

“Ghost in My Guitar”, the classic “Black Coffee” and “Clear Blue Flame” close the main part of the show. The feeling of the moment of these songs is to be traveling by an endless stretch of road leading to the west, while a glowing red ball of sun leaves us blind.

And now the second turning point and the lights are shining again with “Wrong Side of Town”, a song with the classic sound of that wonderful fusion called southern rock, rising the audience that intuits the end but doesn’t stop dancing and singing, as if they could make the show go on forever.

The close comes with the classic “Shake Your Hips”, which Tom Gray and his boys stretched for more than ten minutes for the musicians to shine; the public releases the energy that remains and breaks into endless applause and a standing ovation.

Delta Moon has blessed us with music that has its roots in southern slaves and cotton fields in the south which also gave us Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, J.J. Cale and ZZ Top, among others.

We leave the Sala Capitol with a great taste, happy to have been at a party.