Delta Wires, longtime mainstays of the San Francisco/ Bay area blues scene, have just released a terrific new album. If Somebody Told Me, out January 24th, is the kind of rollicking, good time, well-played blues we expect from groups like Downchild and hey, there’s plenty of room for everyone at this banquet table.
If Somebody Told Me is more of what we like about Delta Wires; tight playing and highly polished horns along with some wailing harp and fine blues guitar. The disc is a combination of originals and a few nods to the legendary Sonny Boy Williamson and even a Count Basie number. Finalists in the 2008 in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this band has shared stages and rubbed shoulders with a number of legends, from Van Morrison to Buddy Guy to Bad Company and more. In a case like Delta Wires, I’m pretty confident in judging them by the company they keep.
Delta Wires are a septet led by singer/ harmonica player Ernie Pinata- Robert Plant he isn’t, but his voice has a warmth that really brings this stuff across; plus he’s a great harp player. The band is rounded out by Tom Gerrits on bass, Richard Healey on guitar, Tony Huszar on drums with the horn section of David Bowman (trombone) John Christensen (trumpet) and Caleb Murray (sax). If Somebody Told Me can rightly be classified as good time party blues, with a joyous vibe that makes every night feel like Friday night. The title track is a blues ballad designed to feature Healey’s guitar, Can’t Win For Losin’ is about the ups and downs of having a band in a competitive place like the Bay area, I Tried is a tribute to Duke Records and the music of Larry Davis, while Bring Me Up has a real Big Joe Turner feel. Want some great harp work? Check out Pinata’s playing on Hand Out of My Pocket-outstanding!
If Somebody Told Me is a real blue collar, working man’s blues band experience. Cross Downchild with The Powder Blues Band, and that gets you pretty close to what this disc is like. I’m very much looking forward to sharing some of these tracks on my blues radio show.
HOT TRACKS: Sloppy Drunk, If Somebody Told Me, Hand Out Of My Pocket