Friday, October 14, 2005

Sounds Of The Deep South ...

As hurricane ‘Katrina’ chastised the Gulf Coast of America, the media spouted tales of the region’s ‘old musical traditions’ and it’s ‘unmistakable style’. Such was the ferocity of K’s lashing, New Orleans was described as ‘a Venice from hell’.

Long before the advent of radio, the music halls in the deep south were packed with simple folk, listening to metal slide guitars and unamplified voices - songs of everyday life, love, and jilted partners.

At ‘La Java’, last night, Steve James and Del Rey put out 90 minutes of his fascinating rhythm …

It was the very first time I’d heard this captivating ‘twang’ live. Yes, we've all seen the film ‘Deliverance’ and we’ve imitated it‘s foot-tapping anthem, ‘Duelling Banjos’, but this was something different. Something fresh. With a single microphone and unplugged steel guitars, Steve and Del Rey played with their hearts.

Now, I’m not getting wishy-washy about this (what with Katrina and all), but it was something quite extraordinary. I’m not saying I’d rush out and buy their whole collection, but the next time some old, traditional music comes to town, I might well turn up.

However, I was not there for the music.

The 10th Arrondissement of Paris has announced it’s wish to have a series of photographic exhibitions of musical artistes who have recently played in the area. These images will be hung on the walls of promoter/management studios.

“D‘yer fancy summat up on a wall?” promoter Karel Beer asked me, “Yern, go on then …” I replied.

I have two I’d like to submit;
The musical pair were as charming as their output and I hope that these photographs do them justice. You can find Steve and Del Rey here and visit Karel’s World here.

I’ll be in touch when I know what’s going on and where you can find this exhibition.




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