"Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch" is the follow up to the well received "Deltabilly Swing" CD. It sees Jeremy Lyons preaching his own brand of Deltabilly, which is described in the accompanying notes as "A churning mixture of Swing, Delta-Blues, and Rockabilly from the Louisiana delta region." There is also a tinge of gospel included too, just to add further spice to the mixture.
Lyons plays guitar, and handles most of the singing, accompanied by the Deltabilly Boys (Paul Santopadre on drums, and Greg Schatz on double bass). They are augmented by special guests on a handful of tracks. Only five of the 15 songs are originals, but the band usually add their own idiosyncratic arrangements to the covers, such as "Some Of These Days" from Charlie Patton's repertoire, and Robert Petway's "Catfish." Perhaps the pick of the covers, though, is Blind Willie Johnson's "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning." Lyons shares vocals with Lissa Driscoll (aka Washboard Annie, Ragtime Annie, and Annie Walker) on this gospel flavored tune which recalls the time when Mississippi Fred McDowell and Jo Ann Kelly worked together.
The original material stands up well to close inspection. The bluesy instrumental "Hurricane Way" in particular, is excellent, and shows Lyons to be a highly talented guitarist. Lyons seems to have something of a food fixation, however, with three of his songs relating to eating out at barbecues, in the cafe, or the restaurant. I guess that is what comes of spending several years experiencing the gastronomic delights of New Orleans.
There is a light airy feel to much of "Count Your Chickens...," which seems to fit right in with the laid back way of doing things in the Big Easy. Lyons has a sympathetic ear, which he uses to lend new life and zip to several of the older numbers, without ever allowing things to boil over. The adjective Deltabilly perfectly sums up the band's sound which combines West Coast swing, with moody acoustic blues, and some elements of rockabilly. If you are looking for something just a little different, "Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch" is definitely a worthwhile place to start.
eremy Lyons & The Deltabilly Boys: www.deltabilly.com
Louisiana Red Hot Records: firstname.lastname@example.org
This review is copyright © 2000 by Gordon Baxter, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.