Delaney Bramlett is nothing less than a musical treasure. Now into his fifth decade as a musician, writer, producer and all around music mogul, Delaney sounds just as good as ever. A New Kind of Blues is his latest masterpiece, a collection of eleven smoking tracks, ten of which were written by Bramlett himself.
Delaney’s smokey soul vocals never sounded better, kicking the set off with “What Do You Do About the Blues,” an amazingly soulful, horn backed track. The sound of a cool Southern rain leads us into a Dobro blues called “Mighty Mighty Mississippi.” Swampy? You bet. So very good.
“Ol’ Moanin’ Blues” finds Delaney at his best, a modern day Robert Johnson, writing what he feels and feeling what he plays, and the title track, “A New Kind of Blues” gets so down and dirty, I felt like I was in a Mississippi juke joint. Great horns and keys only serve to enhance Delaney’s amazing guitar work.
“P.O. Box 32789” is a great blues about a bar fight, featuring Stan “The Man” Ruffeo on harp, and in his sole cover tune (“soul cover tune”) Delaney blows the roof off the joint with Sam Cooke’s “Change Gonna Come.” Have mercy!
Something about “I Got the Time” reminds me of Delaney’s old friend Leon Russell. What a killer track. But then again, I have nothing but good to say about every track on the record. It’s all good. It’s a star studded family affair of an album, with Delaney’s daughter Bekka Bramlett and his mother Iva “Mamo” Bramlett on backing vocals, and friends Greg Martin (Kentucky Headhunters), Jerry McGee, Mark Karan, Hank Barrio, and Chad Watson adding some guitar work. There’s a bushel of other great players featured on the album too, but us guitar players stick together.
The CD ends with a rave up gospel number, “I’m Gonna Be Ready,” showcasing Delaney smack dab in the middle of his element. One of my favorite albums ever was Delaney & Bonnie’s Motel Shot, because to me, Delaney is one of the finest gospel singers on the planet. Amazing. Can I get a “hallelujah?”
A New Kind of Blues is not to be missed. It is to be cherished. A new classic, from a living legend.
-Michael Buffalo Smith