Delta Spirit at the Urban Lounge

Probably I was more attracted to the IDEA of seeing a show than I was specifically to hear Delta Spirit.  It has been awhile since I’ve been out.  DS didn’t take the stage February 10 until after 12:30 AM (hey it’s a weeknight) and it felt like a bad caricature of John Fogherty.

First a good report on Salt Lake City’s Furs.  I only caught the last two songs of their short set, but I have already bought their EP Cruel Cruel Violets.mink1

(Courtesy cityweekly.net)

Singer Bryan Mink fronts what appears to be a recently re-constituted Furs that includes bassist Matt Hill and drummer Stephanie Marlow.   The Furs put out a throbbing MVB feedback with some Velvet Underground  detachment.  I only heard the last two songs of their set so I want to catch a full show before I get too effusive, but this three piece put out more sound and were more memborable than the following two bands combined.  I traded pleasantries with Bryan after the show and made a mental note to see a full show. 

Furs open for Ben Kweller on Friday at The Depot–it would be a real treat to hear their mix on the Depot’s sound system–and then return to the Urban Lounge March 23 on the Shaky Hands bill.  More on Furs soon.

Next up, Blue Sunshine Soul are about what you would guess from the band name–a cross between a jam band and the Allman Brothers.  It is remarkable how little energy six performers create from stage.  Seriously that is half a baseball team.

Headliners Delta Spirit received some acclaim for their (sorry) delta-influenced Ode to Sunshine in 2008.  They are the band who completely recorded their CD in a cabin who are not Bon Iver.  I cooled off on the release after getting a little deeper and finding only a few standout tracks.  I thought I might hear some inspiration in their live show but it seared some images in my mind that will make the CD hard to dig out again.

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(Flannel, harmonica, camouflage ball cap)

Delta Spirit opened, not memorably, with “Strange Vine” and then with standout “People C’mon” and “Streetwalker.”  Number 4 “Brunswick Blues” suffered from a terrible mix and after that Matt was all gaped-mouth unintelligible yowl that obscured any nuance in Sunshine.  “Trashcan” came near the end of the set after 1:00 AM and well after I was headed home.

For those keeping track at home, I saw no sign of actual trash can lids being played.

Delta Spirit played an early show at Kilby Court and maybe they had nothing left after playing for the kids at the all-ages show but after 30 minutes of half-shouted melodies I felt a little embarassed to be watching.  Here is what I appreciate about the band:  An unabashed spiritual influence and Christian lyrics that most evolved hipsters can barely tolerate.  Wouldn’t it be nice to hear more bands who can pen more cerebral lyrics than anti-war screeds and non-sequitor cleverness.  Maybe I’ll see Delta Spirit again under better circumstances.

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