In reviewing Drink My Wine, the debut album by Darren Jay & the Delta Souls (to be released on September 18), this critic can describe the album as follows: a fruity, flavorful red with a powerful accent as it seeps down one’s throat, followed by an aftertaste of dark chocolate that is both sweet and bold.
Darren Jay is one melodic guitar player, who doesn’t flaunt his chops, but whose expertise and skill simply seem to flow forth from his fingers, a sign of musical maturity for this relatively young musician – or should I say wine-crafter. And with this release, he has packaged some of his best Rieslings, Chardonnays and even some unique creations that are a bit more unusual and rare.
Jay’s influences come from every area where good musical wine is made: Memphis, New Orleans, Chicago and Texas. Yet, he masterfully blends each of these influences into separate, unique masterpieces. Take “Workday Blues” for example. The drum groove is straight out of a Duane Eddy record, the horn parts sound like something you would hear on a Sam & Dave record, and the sweet, melodic guitar has a kick, like Albert Collins. On top of all of this, the entire song transitions into a New Orleans Mardi-Gras party for roughly the last minute of the song. And yet it does so with elegance and grace.
And if you’re looking for more good times tracks, more Rieslings, for example, look no farther than the New Orleans inspired tune “Lovin’ Man,” or a classic good-time shuffle (“Everybody Get Together”). And, of course, if you’re looking for something with more of a sense of humor, check out Tony Thomas’ funky, funny and fully captivating piano solo on “(Baby) Don’t You Lose My Number.”
Of course, being true to his nature as a wise, masterful wine-crafter, there is more to Darren Jay’s first release. There is indeed a dark side. Not dark in a negative sense, but for those longing for more “serious” wine, not something light and airy, but something that rocks and grooves. Hard. Dr. Jay will not disappoint. Merely sample the title track, “Drink My Wine” and you will find what you’re looking for. And if you are more daring, Jay’s absolute masterpiece, one that will stand the test of time, is “Tin Pan Alley.” But be prepared; it isn’t for the faint of heart. Rather, it blends dirty saxophones with powerful guitars and heart-wrenching vocals in a way that you have never heard before.
Like a good wine, every track on this album has multiple layers of flavor. Jay’s vocals are seductive, at times sweet and comforting, and at times edgy and rough. His guitar is melodic, but serious. But it all blends into a fine wine. Each song has transition, each song creates a number of different vibes before, like the last sip of a strong red, Drink My Wine leaves the listener fulfilled and eager to pour another glass.
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
- Workday Blues
- Lovin’ Man
- Drink My Wine
- Tin Pan Alley
The Big Hit
- Lovin’ Man
Review by Nik Rodewald