Black River Delta is a Swedish blues rock quartet on the road since 2014. They define their music as inspired by the blues primitives like Robert Johnson and R. L. Burnside and modern ones like The Black Keys and Gary Clark Jr. After two studio album releases, they consolidate their path with Shakin’, released in early June 2021. If you like fuzzy guitar riffs, slide, and scratchy vocals you must check out these guys. They go straight ahead to the point.
“Burning And Burning” is a standard blues rock that summarizes their approach. A defined looping guitar riff, paced bass and drums, and a chorus repeated over and over. “Howlin’ Back At You” and “Shakin’” follow the same recipe. Things begin to take another direction in “Solitary Man”. The dragged vocals and harmonica lines bring another ambiance to this tune, resembling a soundtrack from some gangsters’ movie.
“Black Gold” puts the album back over the blues trail, with a nice slide tune. “400 Hours” is an acoustic tune that is full-bodied by a smooth piano harmony. The ballad fills the gaps while other instruments and feedback sounds are added. On “California Sun” they turn back to their standard blues rock approach.
“Train Back Home” has vocals that are a little bit melodic besides a pleasant fingerstyle progression and raw harmonica and slide lines. “Left My Heart In The City” makes it clear that they have The Black Keys as a huge inspiration for their songwriting. The harmonica steals the spotlight in “Midnight Train”. It has a kind of pop appeal that marks most of the songs throughout the album. “Now I Know” uses a broken rhythm in a mixed scenario between a traditional guitar riff and a non-regular drum beat.
In a certain way, Black River Delta’s music keeps some of the blues’ core, mainly because of their simple songwriting style. Considering all the shades of the blues rock, Black River Delta explores a kind of pop side to it pulling in a younger audience, and Shakin’ is a solid contribution in that sense.
The Review: 7/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Solitary Man
– Black Gold
– Train Back Home
The Big Hit
– Black Gold