Full Disclosure: Delta Spirit is one of my favorite bands on two levels.
IN THE STUDIO: First, Delta Spirit piqued my interest and grabbed the attention of the critical world in 2008 after bursting out of the gate with an astonishing debut, Ode To Sunshine (one of the first albums I ever reviewed). The band reinforced the early buzz with a more polished follow-up on the equally striking History From Below (2010).
After releasing two of the best albums of the last half-decade (lead singer Matthew Vazquez also was a key player in the much-buzzed-about indie supergroup Middle Brother in 2011), the California band is now touring in support of its recently released third self-titled album and, lucky for us, will stop in New Orleans on Tuesday as part of a seven-date / nine-day Southern leg of the tour for a Tuesday-night show at One Eyed Jacks.
ON THE STAGE: Second, as fine as the tunes from Ode To Sunshine and History From Below are in their static form, the songs are dramatically transformative (some nearly beyond recognition) on the live stage, infused with enough raw energy, soul and rock-n-roll gusto to give the arrangements an indescribable, in-the-moment realness and power that would be nearly impossible to replicate in a sterile studio setting. On stage, the five-piece band lays it down on the nitty gritty, isn’t afraid to destroy a kick drum, and busker-turned-rock star frontman Matthew Vasquez is one of the most genuine, entertaining and viscerally intense band leaders you’ll ever have the chance to see, with the ability to absolutely floor the room with soul and Dylan-esque lyrical honesty.
Few bands operate on such high levels with both studio output and live prowess. Having said all that, it is well worth your $13 to make it down to Jacks next Tuesday.
Also, festival-goers will have a chance to see the band at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival (where the band electrified a Thursday-night crowd in a rainstorm in 2009) as well as the High Sierra Music Festival this summer (with more festival spots sure to fill in as the season rolls on).
People, Turn Around @ Lollapalooza 2009
Trashcan (Live at Lollapalooza 2011)
Delta Spirit – French Quarter (Live 2006)
Delta Spirit – California