Delta Wires review…June 25, 2017….

DELTA WIRES

BORN IN OAKLAND

MUDSLIDE RECORDS  MSCD 1706

SUNNY DAY–FINE AND HEALTHY THING–VACATION–YOUR EYES–DAYS OF THE WEEK–DEVIL’S IN MY HEADSET–FUN TIME–I DON’T CARE–IN THE MIDDLE–ALL I HAVE TO GIVE

Delta Wires is a high-energy band from the Bay Area that successfully melds contemporary blues with its origins down deep in the Delta.  The band was, literally, like the title of their latest album, “Born In Oakland,” some thirty years ago, as a direct result of a collegiate exercise.  Leader, harpman, and vocalist Ernie Pinata did a college project to show how the blues originated in the mists of Mississippi, and eventually made its way northward into Chicago and Detroit, and, ultimately, out to the West Coast.  The horn section in this seven-piece group brings the energy, while Ernie’s harp is the soul and the authenticity.  Seven of the ten cuts are band originals, with three swingin’ covers.

Everybody has a lot of fun on the opener, a cool ode to the long, hot summer, “Sunny Day,” especially the drummer and the horns.  Ernie tells it like it is on a cut we can all relate to—traffic jams everywhere, spendin’ more than you make just to get by, and everything else that ultimately has us all needing a “Vacation.”  He breaks off some fine harp at the bridge, too.

A hope for a future with a lover where “we lifted a glass, and know it can last” is seen in “Your Eyes,” while “Days Of The Week” and “I Don’t Care” bring a gospel fervor to a couple of cuts that recall the energetic glory days of classic Stax.

Our favorite was easy.  “Little Fine Healthy Thing” is what this band is all about.  It swings like nobody’s bizness, and Ernie’s harp fits right in alongside the horns, and the whole thing brings to mind the Atlantic sides of Big Joe Turner.

A veritable living history of West Coast blues, Delta Wires have been bringing the heat for over thirty years.  They definitely know the origins of the blues, and have a finger on the pulse of its future, as evidenced by the soul-blues stew that was “Born In Oakland.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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