BRAND NEW MAN
MEET MY MAKER–I’LL PLAY THE BLUES FOR YOU–FIRST STRING MAN–BLUES CAME CALLING–LOVE LINE–COOKIN’ IN MY KITCHEN–HOLLAR–GOTCHA–MINE ALL MINE–YESTERDAY’S TEARS–GRINNIN’ IN YOUR FACE
It’s not every day that a bluesman gets a glowing endorsement from Alligator Records prez Bruce Iglauer, but that was indeed the case for Lee Delray with his debut album back in 2013, “570-BLUES.” Bruce loved it, as did fans and critics everywhere. It’s no surprise that Lee has brought that same intensity and firepower to his latest recording, “Brand New Man.”
Lee Delray was born deep down in South Florida, but was raised up in New York City. As such, he has incorporated many of his varied influences into this recording. Things start off with the foot-stompin’ beat of “Meet My Maker,” where Lee and his Crossroads-influenced slide “wait on St. Peter to call my name,” where “you can cleanse your soul,” but not “until you leave your body behind.” He brings his slide back to the table a little later on a boogie-fied shout-out to a lover, “Hollar, ’til you say I do!”
His more contemporary fans will enjoy a reworked “I’ll Play The Blues For You,” with a spoken-word passage at the break. And, Lee shouts out to the famed Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and incorporates a rap chorus from Young Chizz and a turntable break from Deejay Nogood on “First String Man.”
His Southern influences are on display in the breezy, Allman-esque “Love Line,” “Mine All Mine,” and “Yesterday’s Tears.” The latter features some fine country-blues harp from Mike Smith.
We enjoyed his straight, no-chaser blues the best. Scorching guitar lines drive “Blues Came Calling,” and, each time they come, the consequences are greater than the time before. The swingin’ “Gotcha” gives a lover “foolin’ around all over town” her walkin’ papers, and the set closes with a cool a cappella version of “don’t you mind people Grinnin’ In Your Face.”
Our favorite was another of those good ‘ol slow-burnin’ “she done me wrong” songs. You can hear the influence of B. B. and Lucille throughout the tale of “someone else Cookin’ In My Kitchen” and “my big ol’ broken heart!”
Lee Delray has made an album that will appeal to a broad fan base. “Brand New Man” is a set full of a young man’s fire and soul! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.