BORN IN OAKLAND
Mule Slide Records
After 30 Years The Kings of Frisco Blues Still Swing Like a Swiss Watch.
Some days I just love this job!
Mrs. Magpie wasn’t too happy with me earlier in the week because the pile of padded envelopes was stacking up in the kitchen; so I disappeared into the backroom with a strong cup of coffee and began downloading and logging the contents. After looking at 11 CD covers of acts I’d never heard of I took this one out of the packet, and there was ‘something’ about the cover artwork that caught my attention…..the band name? The harmonica? Who knows but as it downloaded I pressed ‘play’…..BIFF….BAP….POW! The opening salvo hit me like a 1960’s Batman episode.
That song, Sunny Day is way beyond ‘cool’…..way, way beyond. A swampy horn section, bass and drums from a building site, sizzling guitars and a singer with a voice that sounds like it has lived a life all of it’s very own……..more coffee was ordered and I settled in for an hour of classy, gorgeous Rhythm AND Blues.
Track two Fine and Healthy Thing bizarrely sounds like a funky Van Morrison fronting the Glenn Miller Orchestra; and coming from someone whose Mother loved the Big Band Sound; that’s as good a compliment as I give.
My, oh my Delta Wires can not only play a tune but write a damn fine song too……the love songs Your Eyes and Fun Time are both pure midnight magic; making your toes tap and your loins twitch ……if you know what I mean 😉
I very nearly chose the hiptastic Days of the Week as my favourite track; not just because of singer and bandleader Ernie Pinata’s lung busting harmonica playing that somehow leaves just enough energy to sing about waiting for Friday night.
But I’m going for the sensual and Soulful Devil’s in my Headset because……just….because. It’s a doozy and ….well….sometimes you just fall in love with a sound; and fall in love I most certainly have.
Even on that first play the quality of the individual musicians shone though on every song; with I Don’t Care and Vacation really and truly showcasing their combined efforts and Pinata really sings his heart out on album closer All I Have To Give.
If you take Jools Holland out of the equation this type of R&B doesn’t exist in the UK any-more; which is a shame because this is the music that I grew up with back in the late 70’s in the pubs and clubs of Durham and Tyneside and my gateway to The Blues of BB King etc.
I doubt Delta Wires will ever visit NE England; so I guess I will have to check flights and hotels for a trip to SF sometime soon.
Released June 30th 2017