Sunday, February 22, 2015
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: SAMANTHA MARTIN & DELTA SUGAR - SEND THE NIGHTINGALE
Whoa, and hello! Here's a voice that comes along once in a generation, and only on a blue moon. Out of Toronto, Martin could be doing big rock songs, over-singing and being called the new Janis Joplin, and thankfully, she is not. Instead, she's been building a roots/blues/gospel sound and team with Delta Sugar. They sound like a million bucks, but are only a small group. In addition to Martin's leads and acoustic guitar, there are the harmonies of Sherie Marshall and Stacie Tabb, electric guitar from MIkey McCallum, and organ from Jimmy Hill. Any percussion is stomps and claps from the group, and that is it, but it packs more punch than a stage full of amps and guitar heroes.
If there's a time and vibe as inspiration, I'd say it's the rural gospel/soul of The Staple Singers. All those elements are there, from the echoes of field hollers to the country streak that goes through all southern soul. The organ sanctifies when it comes in, the electric guitar makes it modern (well, latter 20th century), and the harmonies intensify. There's call-and-response, hurt and suffering. And while the focus will be on Martin as the front woman, this really is a team effort and powerful blend. Even the all-original material is seamless, never dropping the ball on the right lyric, tone and emotion. This is a group that just gets it, gets it all.