The Delta Saints are heading to Komedia on Weds 22 June, as part of a UK tour. This Nashville-based band have stripped their roots/blues sound down to its essence. Last year’s second full-length effort, [Bones], embraces influences like Jack White, The Black Keys, My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses and Led Zeppelin, offering a sound unlike anything they have created before. They’re still rooted firmly in rock ‘n’ roll’s building blocks – country, R&B, soul and gospel, building upon the energy of each to riotous effect. Intense vocals and varied instrumentation produce a range of different harmonics. Accented rhythms and spiky guitar-work build over rich basslines, making their sound distinct and agreeable.
Producer, engineer and mixer Eddie Spear provided a ghostly, psychedelic atmosphere at Nashville’s Sputnik Sound studios, yielding a sound unlike anything they have created before. Taking a novel approach of writing songs spontaneously in the studio, The Delta Saints were challenged to create in the moment. As a result, ‘Bones’ is their most adventurous effort yet. It’s a collection of eclectic songs, beginning with The White Stripes-meets-Led Zeppelin fuzz-toned garage-rock blast of ‘Sometimes I Worry’. The spare, spooky strains of ‘Butte la Rose’ tell the band’s tale of a Louisiana town purposely flooded and displaced five years ago to save New Orleans. The Grapes of Wrath drama of ‘Dust’, based on Ringel’s grandfather, an East Kansas farmer, builds to a primal wail at nature with a stunning coda in which Dylan Fitch’s guitar drops out and Kremer’s B3 organ provides the climax. The title track features hoodoo organ riffs and African-influenced trance music, which came from listening to the Sahara Desert African groove of Niger’s Tuareg guitarist Omara ‘Bombino’ Moctar and Mali’s Tinariwen. The grindhouse honky-tonk chain gang chants of “Heavy Hammer” celebrates the work ethic in no uncertain terms, a call for unity in the wake of Ringel’s frustration about getting stuck in the rat race and feeling trapped by some of life’s mundane tasks. ‘Berlin’, the first song they recorded after adding Nate on keys, started out as an instrumental penned in the title city while on tour. It eventually metamorphosed into a country twang intro and a prog-rock jam. This album is a joyfully complete work veering between despair and apocalyptic dread. They’ve got the songs and the energy to make something happen, so check them out before they start playing stadiums.
The Delta Saints come to Komedia on Weds 22 June, as part of a UK tour. Their album ‘Bones’ is available now.