More llive music means more dancing.
And I am reminded of a certain country lately in the news once more, that at one time, not too long ago, banned both music and dancing. Evidently music causes dissent and in societies governed by dictators, dissention is punishable on occasion, even by death. These days I find myself thinking about things like this, which in turn takes me back to my teenage years in Cape Town, where music was banned (the Beatles), and the world teetered then as now, on the brink of disaster.
In those times. Music carried a broader and deeper message to those of us coming of age in the so-called free world, and in fact, music was a major catalyst for changes we now take for granted. Who would ever have dreamed then, that the radical “voice of a generation,” Bob Dylan, would one day become a Nobel Prize winner for literature?
I’m currently working on a memoir of my time in the music world and these thoughts about music and freedom, keep playing in my head like a song. Like the great songs that mobilised a generation; songs with roots in the blues and traditional folk songs brought here from afar – songs of distance and yearning, and redemption. Redemption songs.
Rockin’ in the Free World seems to be my current theme here on the blog, and just days after I posted the two pieces I wrote about the July 4th weekend in Kit Carson Park, I received an email from (I love the synchronicity), Gold Rush Booking in Los Angeles.
Hi Lynne, it read, My name is Adam Zanoff and I represent Americana/Blues/Rock band The Deltaz based out of Los Angeles. The Deltaz are excited to be coming to Taos on July 25th to perform at Old Martina’s Hall. I would love to have you guys list the show or do a write up about the group. The band would be more than happy to do an interview. Let me know if this is something you would be interested in. I have attached a press photo and some info about the band.
The Press Bio was rote: Brothers Ted & John Siegel make up The Deltaz on guitar and drums, harmonize on vocals and tour as a trio with a bass player… I scanned the email and checked out the attachments. Two photos and a YouTube video. The band was captured live and both the song and their vibe caught my attention.
The brothers have worked for over a decade to hone their sound, which nods to other genres including heavy metal along with blues and roots rock to classic country and folk, and create their singular brand of Americana which is at once a throwback to the LA country rock hybrid bands of the 60’s and early 70’s, including Buffalo Springfield, Gram Parsons era Byrds and J.D. Souther, among so many others – too many to mention here – as well as being their distinct iteration of American roots music. Back then Laurel Canyon was a hotbed of musical activity that gifted us with songs that became a virtual soundtrack to our lives. When Crosby, Stills and Nash stole Neil from Buffalo Springfield, it changed the game. The music made in the Hollywood hills cast a spell far and wide.
No surprise then that these two brothers John and Ted Siegel, spend many of their days recording at a handmade studio adjacent to their residence in the hills of Mulholland Highway that overlooks Los Angeles. They have also become mainstays at a nearby Southern Californian institution, The Old Place, regularly performing for patrons at the ever-packed restaurant in the mountains, which is where they caught the ear of the late bassist Rick Rosas (Neil Young, Joe Walsh), who became an early mentor to the group.
When not writing and recording new material, the Deltaz tour constantly; headlining some shows and opening for others: The band has opened for nationally recognized artists such as Lukas Nelson, The White Buffalo and Band of Heathens.
The Deltaz music has been included on the soundtrack for the upcoming feature film “The Devil Has A Name” starring Kate Bosworth and Martin Sheen. The film showcases their original song “Wild Mustang” as a duet featuring country-rock legend Bonnie Bramlett and The Deltaz’ Ted Siegel.
The Deltaz were formed while the brothers were still in high school at which point the boys had already immersed themselves in the last century of popular music, a passion which led them both to quickly pick up their respective instruments of choice.
Ted is acknowledged as one of the hottest guitarists on the L.A. indie scene today, while drummer John has expanded his role in to include harmonica and great harmonies. Their latest release Barrelhouse Boys was met with critical acclaim. Clearly The Deltaz are on an upward trajectory.
I sent them a couple of questions via Adam. One (about working with Bonnie Bramlett), they declined to answer.
Q ) You guys are brothers, who grew up in California (L.A.), and play rootsy, bluesy Americana – how did that happen? Please tell my readers a little about yourselves.
A) John and I grew up playing together. We’ve always played together and it was a natural step for us to form a band out of high school. We knew right from the beginning that we had a special connection we could never recreate with any other musicians.
Q) You are playing at Martina’s in Taos – what brings the Deltaz to the High Desert and what do you have in store for us?
A) We’ve been touring through New Mexico for the last couple of years. We’ve played in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Ramah and Gallup. We’ve always been intrigued by Taos. Excited to play in Taos!
We are going to be performing a set featuring mostly original music with a few classic country and blues covers.
The Deltaz have crafted a dynamic set that has been showcased at several festivals including Blues and Brews, Yellow City Live, and the Shady Groves Concert Series. Their unique blend of harmonies and harmonica alongside retro rock slide guitar make their high-energy performances memorable. More than a throwback to the ladies and (a few), gentleman, of the Canyons, they are carrying the torch of Americana into the future, rockin’ in the free world.
As Taos becomes more of a bona fide music destination, I have no doubt this will not be their last visit to High Country. I am also delighted that Martina’s is bringing music back to the best little dance hall in the West!
For more on The Deltaz please visit their site linked below, along with information on their gig at Martina’s this Thursday night. Don’t forget, Martina’s is a great restaurant too, open every day. Check out their site for more info.
All images thanks to The Deltaz and Old Martina’s Hall