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Live Review
Del Rey
@ Delray Green Market, Delray Beach, Fl, Jan. 16, 1999
By Dave "Doc" Piltz
When I ventured down to Florida this past weekend, I never would have thought that I would have the opportunity to experience great blues music (or any blues music for that matter) at an outdoor marketplace in Delray Beach, Florida. However, when I read in the local entertainment weekly that Del Rey was making an appearance at the Delray Green Market in advance of her performance at the 8th Annual South Florida Folk Festival, I just had to check it out.

Del Rey is an acoustic blues singer and a fairly recent transplant from Southern California to Seattle, Washington. She is nearing 40 and happily considers herself to be a "hobemian." In recent years, Del Rey has become a regular performer at several major blues and folk festivals while finding increasing popularity for her music in such far flung countries as Australia. Known for her masterful picking style on her custom made, steel resonator guitar and strong clear vocals, Del Rey learned her craft from one of the great masters of folk blues, Sam Chatmon, at age 13.

Del Rey's "warmup" performance at the Delray Green Market was quite entertaining and included an audience full of elderly strollers and little children with their parents who were checking out the wares available at the market. When I asked Del Rey for her autograph after a few minutes of conversation, she laughed and said, "You haven't even heard me yet. If I get up there and those autographs start smoking, I'll know that I'm doing something wrong!"

As things turned out Del Rey did not have to worry that she was going to turn me, or anyone else in the audience, off with her well performed set of very cool folk blues and entertaining little stories. Her songs included simple stories about day to day life such as "Straw and Broom Boogie" (about cleaning house); classic tunes by her mentor, Sam Chatmon, "I Hate That Train" and "Living Too Fast For The Pay;" and a jazzy little tune by Louis Jordan called "Chartreuse,"a song about a woman who dyed her hair chartreuse. Del Rey's two most recent CD's, Boogie Mysterioso (1993) and Hot Sauce (1995) are available on a limited basis through her own record company, Hobemian Records (P.O. Box 85718; Seattle, WA 98145) or through her web page at . A third recording by Del Rey and the Blues Gators, Chartreuse (1991), is also available from Hobemian, but only on cassette.

The performance only lasted about an hour and I, unfortunately, had to leave before she was done. It did not take long, however, for me to get to know and enjoy the music of Del Rey. With the increasing popularity of the acoustic blues sounds offered by Corey Harris, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Guy Davis and others, hopefully, everyone will have a greater knowledge of the music of Del Rey and her contributions to the genre.

This review is copyright © 1999 by Dave "Doc" Piltz and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.

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