Darren Jay and the Delta Souls: Drink My Wine (2012)
The record, which Jay labels Memphis-based blues, has a clear focus on the songs and sound he wanted, and the result is a diverse blend of originals with two classics thrown in for good measure. The essential Muddy Waters "Hoochie Coochie Man" is performed with a light touch which works well for the band, while "Tin Pan Alley," with superb sax playing by Art Edmaiston, is reminiscent of the Butterfield Blues Band in its prime. From the swift-paced instrumentals "Rider" and "Zilla" to the title track (a hard driving blues), Jay, drummer Hubert Crawford and bassist Laura Cupit demonstrate a maturity which comes from time on the road and an ability to deliver a well-balanced set. In a display of clever tempo changes, "Lovin' Man" begins as a playful rumba then slips into a shuffle with flawless ease. To highlight his Memphis sound, "(Baby) Don't You Lose My Number" has that Jerry Lee Lewis signature piano thumping by Tony Thomas, who also doubles on excellent organ throughout the record.
Naysayers might claim that this type of music has all been done to death, while on the other hand optimists feel that it deserves to be kept alive as American roots music. As long as there are artists like Darren Jay and the Delta Souls willing to deliver authentic goods like Drink My Wine, the latter opinion will win out every time.
Track Listing: Workday Blues; Drink My Wine; Lovin’ Man; Too Late Baby; Hoochie Coochie Man; Everybody Get Together; Tin Pan Alley; (Baby) Don’t You Lose My Number; Zilla; River’s Edge.
Personnel: Darren Jay: electric guitars, vocals; Laura Cupit: bass; Hubert Crawford: drums; Tony Thomas: organ, piano; Wayne Jackson: trumpet (5); Art Edmaiston: tenor and baritone sax (5, 8); Marc Franklin: trumpet (5); Chris Cloys: backing vocals (5); Rodd Bland: drums (10).
Record Label: Self Produced