you take. Thanks so much for a wonderful day, the joy of your company, and the outstanding music. And thanks so much for helping the kids, the next generation, at Berkeley High. Absolutely smokin’!” – Kathleen Lawton, Host, Crazy ‘Bout the Blues, KCSM-FM, 91.1 FM, San Mateo CA J
Release Date: Tuesday, January 24; CD Release Parties: The Saloon, North Beach, CA, Saturday February 11; Reno Blues Society’s Mardi Gras Dance at Ramada by Wyndham, Reno, NV, Saturday, February 18; Almost Famous Wine Lounge, Livermore, CA, Friday, March 10
Delta Wires, longtime mainstays in the San Francisco/Bay area blues scene, release their new full-length album, If Somebody Told Me… onTuesday, January 24.
Ernie Pinata’s searing and impassioned harp on the track ‘Can’t Win For Losin’ opens this dynamic new CD. This seven-piece East Bay-based band has been generating powerful blues for over thirty years, performing at festivals from Monterey to Italy, and always with monumental audience response — all of which has earned them membership in California’s Blues Hall of Fame in 2012.
The Delta Wires’ potent combination of tight and highly-polished horns, fierce bluesy guitar and Pinata’s crying, emotional harp make for a powerful fusion, blending the heartbeat of the Delta with electric sophistication and a full-blooded brass sound. If Somebody Told Me… includes several originals, a few nods to the legendary Sonny Boy Williamson…and even a Count Basie lagniappe.
Band History and Info on Some Tracks on If Somebody Told Me…
Delta Wires started out as an Anthology of Blues Music that harpist Ernie Pinata presented as an undergraduate project for credit at The California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. The program covered the regional migration of music from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago. It began with field hollers, the music of Charley Patton, Robert Johnson and Son House, and ended up with the music recorded at Chess Records in Chicago: Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf and many others. After the program, the band went on to play professionally, performing with some of the greats that we studied: Lowell Fulson, Bo Diddley, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and many others.
\Delta Wires were finalists in the international Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2008, representing the Sacramento Blues Society. They have recorded seven albums. Among their high-profile appearances: Umbria Jazz Festival, Perugia Italy; San Francisco Blues Festival; Russian River Blues Festival; Monterey Bay Blues Festival (eight times); Shasta Blues Society’s Redding Blues by the River Festival; Crescent City Blues Festival, (and) Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee.
The Delta Wires have shared the stage with many noted artists including Van Morrison, John Lee Hooker, Freddie King, Bo Diddley, The Neville Bros, Dr. John, The Doobie Brothers, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, John Mayall, Boz Scaggs, Bad Company, The James Gang, and others.
The best way to experience the Delta Wires is undoubtedly live. Onstage, the ‘Wires always deliver an incandescent experience. But if you can’t catch them live, purchase If Somebody Told Me… and hold onto your hats. You’re in for a wild, wild ride!
“IF SOMEBODY TOLD ME”
We had a concept of a blues ballad that would be a guitar feature tune, with lyrics I (Ernie Pinata) wrote about my son. I presented it to the rhythm section, and we put the concept together. I then communicated with our trombone player/arranger and he put the horn lines on it. We rehearsed the song and played it out, went to the studio, and recorded it in one take. The band knew what the song was about, and put their hearts into it.
“CAN’T WIN FOR LOSIN'”
The song is about the ups and downs of having a band in such a competitive area as the San Francisco Bay. You are always pushing to be noticed, to get gigs, and to keep everyone on a positive platform. We have also lost many friends and past band members who passed away over the years, but… we are not giving up the fight!
This song is basically a tribute to Duke Records and the music of Larry Davis. We wanted the driving Big Band sound with the horns kicking. At rehearsal, we picked the tune apart and put our own spin on it. It’s much more hard-driving now than the original.
“BRING ME UP”
Big Joe Turner influenced us in this song. We wanted the Big Band style featuring the horns; it is a story of life, and trying to always be positive in this crazy world. ‘Too much worry is bringing me down, not enough money can make a man frown.’ ‘Somewhere there’s a light, a real bright light. Trying to see it, keeps me up at night”. The lyrics say it all.
Photo Credits CLAIR HAWLEY
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