ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Delta Spirit: The Best Rock Band You’ve Never Heard Of

Updated on July 21, 2008

An indie-rock-folk-country-soul band takes us in a new direction

Fans of rock music know that we are living in dark times. Look at the pop charts, at the top downloads on iTunes, and you can plainly see that mainstream “rock” fails to live up to its rich, honest, and revolutionary roots. How can shallow kiddie-pleasing acts like Disturbed, Linkin Park, and the Jonas Brothers share a genre with titans like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin? With a few notable exceptions (the White Stripes and Spoon, for starters), today’s mainstream rock is terminally infected with formulaic and painfully unoriginal sludge.

Take heart, my brothers and sisters, and taste of an antedote: a little Southern California band by the name of Delta Spirit. I stumbled upon this indie-folk-rock ensemble about a year and a half ago when they opened for another local act, the Cold War Kids (also very good in their own right, and quickly outgrowing “local” status with a spot in the Coachella ’08 and Ouside Lands Festival lineups). A band called Delta Spirit, five regular-looking guys in jeans and flannels, jumped right into their set and immediately radiated a powerful, inclusive energy that was undeniably honest. Their sound was easily calssifiable as indie rock, but posessed a certain country-tinged folksiness that gave it a freshness that made my ears perk up. A hollow-body electric guitar led the standard four-piece ensemble, but the guys in the band also spent much of their time jumping around the stage to various other instruments, including what looked like the bass drum from a marching band, a saloon-style piano, and several pairs of maracas. As they moved into their third song, “Streetwalker,” a catchy tune about the tradgedy of child abandonment and prostitution (seriously), the crowd did a collective double take: how is this music coming form an opening band? Toe-tapping and head-bobbing gave way to jumping and clapping, and by the final repetition of the chorus no small number of first-time listeners (including myself) were singing along.

And isn’t that what rock music is supposed to be about? Togetherness—banding with like-minded people to cut through the bullshit and make truth and hope a priority. As the Cold War Kids and several other friends of the band joined them on stage for the final song of the set, a beautiful harmonica-driven anthem straight out of Bob Dylan’s lost songbook called “People Turn Around!” the couple hundred or so people packed into the El Rey Theater in Hollywod swayed and smiled together, joining in the realization that “the blood we’ve been spilling will bleed us dry.” Simple as that line may be, it carries a deeper meaning that exhorts us as human beings to be better to each other, and it’s that same message that has been a part of rock music for generations, and should continue to be for generations to come.

The band members play hard, play well, and have a good time doing it. Singer Matthew Vasquez delves into evey word he utters, and when the time is right, screams into the microphone with unfiiltered emotion that makes his neck veins bulge. Perhaps what makes Delta Spirit (and their live performances) remarkable is that there is no trace of the self-awareness that defines many “hipster” rock bands. These guys throw themselves into every song with reckless abandon, and are not afraid to ask their audience, ernestly and directly, to join them in making the world a better place. It’s a beautiful thing, and a soothing breath of fresh air amid the toxic vapors of mainstream rock. Delta Spirit’s music symbolizes the end of guarded, ironic rock and the beginning of some kind of rebirth of folk…a rebirth that instead of declaring that the times are a-changin,’ encourages us (“People C’mon”) to change the times our own damn selves. Do yourself a solid and check this band out.

Delta Spirit is currently on tour in Australia, and will return to the American road in Mid-August.

Delta Spirit

From: San Diego, CA

Members: Jon Jameson, Brandon Young, Matthew Vasquez, Sean Walker, Kelly Winrich

Record Label: Rounder Records, Dew Process (Australia)

LINKS:

MySpace:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&;friendid=52838901

Rounder Records (order Cds here):

http://www.rounder.com/index.php?id=album.php&;catalog_id=7122

Images from Delta Spirit show at the Troubadour (West Hollywood, CA) October 15, 2007

photo by Claire Quilty
photo by Claire Quilty
photo by Claire Quilty
photo by Claire Quilty
photo by Claire Quilty
photo by Claire Quilty
photo by Claire Quilty
photo by Claire Quilty

Music Video for "Gimme Some Motivation"

Video of Live performance of "Trashcan"

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Hayley 

      10 years ago

      I definitely meant that their *enthralling performance stole the show. You know you're in for something special when the headlining act opens admits the opener is better!!

    • profile image

      Hayley 

      10 years ago

      I saw this band in Alabama over the summer and I was absolutely blown away by their originality and mostly, their genuine and infectious energy. I had spoken to the headlining act earlier in the day, Matt Costa, and his bandmates told me themselves that the opening act (Delta Spirit) was going to blow them out of the water, that they were the real stars of the show. As much as I enjoyed Matt Costa's performance, it was the music and entralling performance of Delta Spirit that stole the show. The album, Ode to Sunshine, is absolutely superb. This band is going to blow up, so everyone keep your eyes and ears open for them.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)