Delta Spirit History From Below

Delta Spirit History From Below
With a band name like Delta Spirit and a roots music label like Rounder, you'd expect some kind of old-time blues or folk album. But this is far from it. Rock and roots elements coalesce smoothly, resulting is a bracingly vigorous work from the San Diego, CA-based quintet. There's a soulful component to tracks like "Salt In The Wound" and "Vivian," and singer Matthew Vasquez's slight drawl is generally convincing. Over the top, gospel-ish backing vocals mar the tender "Ransom Man," but the production work of My Morning Jacket keyboardist Bo Koster and Eli Thomson avoids slickness. There's some social commentary on lead cut "911" ("Folks back east say the market's fine, I heard that before 1929"), with other tunes possessing a more personal or spiritual bent. Delta Spirit aren't afraid to stretch out musically, with three cuts extending past the five-minute mark, and epic album closer "Ballad Of Vitaly" clocking in at a hair over eight minutes. Their 2008 debut, Ode To Sunshine, found critical favour, and this one ups the ante impressively. (Rounder)