Gig review - Blues in Britain magazine issue 64
Oval Tavern, Croydon on 4th Feb 2007
Sons of the Delta are a duo consisting of Mark Cole who sings, and plays harmonica and guitar and guitarist Rick Edwards. They play an effervescent mix of Blues and Country music, and on this occasion had a dazzling array of no fewer than eight guitars to choose from. They have a good reputation on the circuit, and their performance at the Oval confirmed this.
They started with that good old country number "Man of Constant Sorrow" with Mark on harmonica and vocal and Rick on guitar. Then on "I Want You to Stay", a number with a riff akin to "Help Me", there was a strong harp intro accompanied by Tele style guitar and a fine and spirited harp solo. "Does My Ring Burn Your Finger" featured two guitars, one of which played bottleneck style, then followed the John Lee Hooker classic "Boogie Chillun" with evocative work from the two guitars and the stomp box. Next came a stirring rendition, on guitar and mandolin, of Steve Earle's "I Ain't Ever Satisfied", followed by the equally rumbustious "Mystery Train" with an excellent train impression on harmonica and guitar. Raw rootsy blues followed on Slim Harpo's "King Bee", with strident harp and rhythmic guitar. After Leroy Carr's "I Asked Her For Water" the set finished with "13 Question Method" by Chuck Berry.
The second set had even more variety, starting with Fat Possum artists T Model Ford's "Take a Ride With Me", a hypnotic, trance like number that this duo excel at. They followed up with the 'Hookeresque' "Nobody Wants to Talk to Poor Me" and then Fred McDowell's "Write Me a Few of Your Lines", a fine rendition on harmonica and guitar. More fine work followed including the energetic "The Ladies", the vibrant "It Hurts Me Too", the insistent "Hard Core Troubadour" and the thumping "Dust My Broom". The evening finished with a high-octane version of the Gospell number "People Get Ready". This was a highly entertaining a relaxed session of music from two raconteurs of the genre who are past masters of their craft. Their reputation for their brand of acoustic blues is well merited, and on this performance they will win friends wherever they play. They are well worth a look at if they are in your area.