The Delta Saints with Moonshine & Wine

Thursday • Southgate House Revival

Jan 21, 2015 at 12:09 am
click to enlarge The Delta Saints
The Delta Saints

In interviews, the members of Nashville, Tenn., quintet The Delta Saints often downplay the relevance of their band’s name. But the moniker’s origin story is a good one — after jamming together and writing songs in 2008, the group booked some shows before deciding on what to call themselves. Up against the clock, the musicians threw some ideas around and “Delta Saints” was the one no one disliked. While that might make the band’s name sound like a toss-off, “whatever” moment, frontman Ben Ringel now readily admits it fits perfectly. In fact, few band names capture a group’s essence like “Delta Saints” fits this crew.

“It’s rootsy,” Ringel told Raleigh, N.C.’s News Observer last year. “It sounds like we’re a Delta-based band, with very much a New Orleans rock-and-roll sound.”

You can hear that in just the three songs on The Delta Saints’ 2014 EP, Drink It Slow. The live version of the title track (an extended version of a cut from the band’s 2013 debut full-length, Death Letter Jubilee) grinds on a N’awlins/Meters-like groove (thanks in large part to the skilled keyboard work, one of the group’s most effective secret weapons), while the slinky, slide-guitar-fueled “Cigarettes” has the dirty updated Blues vibe of The Black Keys. The EP also includes live staple “Crazy,” an intense, slow-burn version of the 2006 Gnarls Barkley hit.

The Saints have spent the past couple of years touring extensively across America and Europe to promote the acclaimed Death Letter Jubilee, including a fest-highlight performance at the 2013 MidPoint Music Festival. This is the kind of band that, while enticing on record, really shines in a live setting — so much so that 2014 also saw the release of a 13-track live LP, Live at Exit/In, recorded at the titular Nashville club.

The Delta Saints also found time to record a new album, Bones. The full-length, which is scheduled for release in late spring, brilliantly showcases the musicians’ creative Blues/Rock blend, particularly on the unique title track, the dynamic, theatrical “Zydeco” and “Into the Morning.” With Bones, The Saints sound like they’re taking more chances and experimenting with compelling arrangements that don’t adhere to any “genre rules.” The Saints have grown into a crafty and captivating Rock & Roll band while still retaining the soulfulness and ace chops that made their early work so great.

THE DELTA SAINTS play at Southgate House Revival Thursday, Jan. 22. Find tickets/more info here .