Delta Generators - "Devil in the Rhythm"
By Sam Houghton
In 2008, soon after the band formed, The Delta Generators were labeled the Best Blues Band of Boston by the Boston Blues Society, and, as a congratulations, they were shipped off to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, where they ranked third, upstaged by some young, guitar virtuoso/child prodigy. To know that they are still floundering in small clubs in small outlining villages of Massachusetts, outside of Boston, in towns like Middleborough and Worcester that no one should know about unless they happened to get lost in while driving through backcountry roads or fall across on the way up to Cape Cod, is to know that the blues are, well, what they almost always have been: much less important to the average person than pretty much anything else. Which is sad, in way, but also quite awesome, knowing that on a rainy night, you can grab a flask of Jack, wander into a bar, waddle right to front of the stage, and get bamboozled by guitar geeks in Middleborough Mass, or sift through the remains of your dripping face up on the South Side of Chicago, or get your soul reborn while stumbling through the wrong door at the right time in the thick of the Delta, off the Mississippi – it’s a refreshing American tradition and the Delta Generators are a proud embodiment of the vitality of blues.
The Delta Generators are more of the bamboozling geek types: fragile yet ripping guitars performed with a calculated, almost academic style with a tickling precision; vein popping, white boy vocals; a swaying and booming bass, and nifty drums. Mr. Charlie O’Neil’s guitar, what really puts the band on the map, is reminiscent of a cleaned up Delta slide by the likes of Elmore James that Brian Jones of the Early Stones and Jimmy Page capitalized on. While they are a straight up, traditional blues band, their first album, Devil in the Rhythm (Independent – 2008), is actually pretty fucking good, even if you don’t love the blues. It’s catchy enough for the layman and won enough “Best Blues Albums” titles for the timid. Here is the title track, the single so to speak. If you wish to dive a little further, check out “Write a Letter.” The guitar is truly wonderful on that one. They have a new album out, Hard Row, that must have just been released. So, if you happen upon Worcester or Middleborough one night, and don’t mind a little love from the cougars, definitely check these guys out.
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