Album Review: The Delta Saints – “Death Letter Jubilee”

the-delta-saintsKThere is history and beauty in taking rock and blues and a bit of country, turning it up loud, and making swamp rock.  It is what Creedence Clearwater Revival did to great success. That’s what – with their own twist – The Delta Saints have done.

Nashville-based group released its debut full length, Death Letter Jubilee, on January 15th.

delta_saints_typeThe opening cut is “Liar” is a taste of that swampy southern rock .  Shout out to Little Feat, with a funky bass breakdown that helps hips sway.

“Chicago” grooves to the old Chess blues sound, grinding through a tale (“gotta dollar in my pocket and my feet on the ground”) of ain’t-got-much-but-gonna-make-it.

Consisting  of Ben Ringel (vocals/dobro), Dylan Fitch (guitar), David Supica (bass), Ben Azzi (drums), and Stephen Hanner accompanying on harmonica while on tour, the band’s ongs rise and fall, throwing loud guitars and pulling back to highlight singer Ringel’s shouts.

The title cut coasts with bumping harp and a bass line that eventually opens up to a thumping and running “I’m gonna dance and I’m gonna sing” chorus, with a full-on group shout/clap bridge. Fun.

“Jezebel” tweaks the album’s mold with a throwback to a 1950’s Mississippi front porch blues conversation. “From the Dirt” mines Black Keys territory, raising that ante with some southern funk.

You like the Avett Brothers?  check out “Out to Sea”.

The band enlists some gospel background singers to makes the quick “River” anode to the South’s musical heritage.

Having met at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee and has gained some good fortune throughout in Europe, and will spend two months this spring playing shows overseas.

Their sound is a Memphis soul-rock stew mixed with distorted electric guitar and harmonica.  For Indiana fans of the crashing, electric country blues (think of Rev. Peyton) this one is for you. Fans of jam bands can like them. Black Crowes fans too.