Concert Review, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

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

Written by Angel Marcelo Saffores


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.

Live Video from Music City Roots

One weekday last December, Delta Moon set out to play live radio shows in three different cities in twenty-four hours. We played Jim Lauderdale‘s syndicated Music City Roots in Nashville Wednesday night, then on Thursday at noon the WDVX Blue Plate Special in Knoxville, and finally Thursday evening Mark, Franher and I dragged in to the WRFG studio in Atlanta to play an acoustic set on Dave Chamberlain’s Sagebrush Boogie. Down two tanks of gas and short on sleep, we had a great time, got to hang out with some friends, and, I hope, made a few new friends too.

We also came home with a disk of hi-def video of the show in Nashville. It took a little while to figure out how to get it formatted correctly for YouTube. At first we were all tall and skinny and the drums were oval-shaped. But after working through some instructional videos on YouTube (and a few non-instructional ones), I’ve been posting a song a week. Out of a five-song set on Music City Roots, we’ve now got three up and two to go.




“Hell Bound Train” T-shirts

hell Bound Train print

For the cover art of the American (Red Parlor) CD of Hell Bound Train, our favorite album artist Flournoy Holmes asked his son Cooper to make a linoleum cut. I snapped the picture above when Flournoy stopped by an outdoor festival where we were setting up to show us the first print from the then still unfinished linoleum block. It’s hard to believe Flournoy has done six album covers for Delta Moon now. They are all terrific. But I think Hell Bound Train is my favorite.

It should have been a no-brainer to put the album art on a T-shirt. But I got sidetracked by a bout with cancer (a great all-purpose excuse, if nothing else), and it just never got done. Last month we finally made some to sell on our European tour. They were printed using a process called discharge printing, which removes pigment from the fabric instead of adding it. That’s the same way casino tabletops are printed, since a raised line of ink might affect the roll of the dice. Discharge printing makes a nice, soft shirt, with no stiff layer of plastic ink.

I was shocked at how quickly they sold out. We could have taken twice as many. The moment we got home I ordered another batch of both regular and ladies’ shirts.

Now you can get them at our shows and from the Delta Moon webstore .

His and hers "Hell Bound Train" shirts