I’m Emily, a new addition to the team, and I hope to keep you updated on all that’s going on alternatively! I don’t have much to do with popular culture, except keeping one eye on the charts, and instead find my kind of musical greatness in small pubs, bars and venues. It’s in these places that the best unsigned acts can be discovered, whether they’re up and coming or just a little slice of untouched greatness.
With my mix of folk, country, blues, electro-swing, jazz, acoustic, classic instrumental, dub, psytrance, and reggae, I’ll offer reviews on the best of the under-travelled new age scene.
The likes of Paloma Faith, Eliza Doolittle and former first lady Amy Winehouse have been riding high on a wave of retrospective nostalgia, harking back to the post-war swing-jazz and big ballad hits that feminized a newly empowered youth culture. These sounds are accredited to the timelessness of Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin and whilst unique in their own right are always tied down to the limits of their genre.
On a similar but far more nichÃ© kilter, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson and Mississippi John Hurt make up the influences of new blues artist, Delta Maid. Self-taught guitarist and stubborn acoustic artist, Delta takes her name from the Delta Blues movement at the turn of the 20th Century in the deep south, USA. On first glance, Delta might appear like just another Duffy/Dolly Parton union, but given some time and a little thought, Broken Branches emerges as a debut EP seeped in the introspective, sanguine lilts of true country blues.
As yet unsigned, Delta is currently touring with both Seth Lakeman and Ray La Montagne, an indication of her organic sound. Her vocals are similar to those already recognised under the Female Solo Artist umbrella, adopting that deep, husky melancholy associated with Winehouse’s soul-bearing inflections, yet her understanding of the roots of Delta Blues and raw old country create something musically superior to anything Paloma Faith can muster up.
Broken Branches is a gust of blue-eyed soul that, despite a forthcoming inevitable association with the Duffy/Winehouse retro institute, stands up independently through Delta’s insightful, instrumentally excellent offering.
Stand-out Track: Broken Branches