Country music wasn’t always about the size of your cowboy hat or your tour bus or the number of flashpots you blew off during your arena shows or how much crew was required to rig your stage. Once upon a helluva long time ago, Country music was about the music, and you can thank the deity of your choice that there are folks out there like Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys who understand that perspective all too well.
The cover of DeWylde’s latest CD, Honky Tonk Heart, looks like it was lifted straight from a thrift store’s dusty 50-cent Country record bin and the music that emanates from the disc’s silver surface is every bit as authentic as the scratchy black vinyl that inspired it.
Hailing from Grand Rapids, Mich., DeWylde may be old school musically but don’t expect her to step up to the microphone and merely front the Lost Boys like a typical Country chanteuse. She mixes it up with the band (guitarist Lee Harvey, steel guitarist Drew Howard, drummer D.J. McCoy), rocking the stage with her upright bass, dancing with it, playing the hell out of it and sometimes standing on it while playing the hell out of it. (Check the band’s MySpace page for the footage.)
Western Michigan music scene vets for a decade and a half before assembling four years ago, DeWylde and the Lost Boys pepper their sets with a selection of originals (here’s hoping they do the psychedelic hillbilly swirl of “Machine Head”) and appropriately skewed nuggets from the (way) back catalogs of Buck Owens, Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and Webb Pierce, among others.
Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys might look and sound like a forgotten radio from 50 years ago, but you can bet your honky-tonk ass they’re right on time.