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The Atlanta swamp blues rocker's fourth album in four years introduces a new bassist, and more importantly a new female lead singer into the fold. All the elements coalesce immediately as the opening track, "You Don't Have to Go," kicks off with easygoing slide guitars setting up the low-boil funk as vocalist Kristin Markiton purrs the suggestive lyrics in a feisty but sexy croon. Certainly different than previous lead singer Gina Leigh, she nonetheless comfortably meshes with the band's established groove, trading lead vocals with songwriter/guitarist and occasional keyboardist Tom Gray on many of the tracks and bringing an old Delaney & Bonnie feel to the proceedings. A few rearranged covers from relatively obscure blues artists such as the late Frank Edwards ("Put Your Arms Around Me") and Jessie Mae Hemphill ("Lovin in the Moonlight") slot into the band's self-written originals that dominate the disc. The twin slide guitars of Gray and Mark Johnson generally control the vibe, bringing a simmering intensity to the Southern boogie of "Midnight Train," "Officer," and the driving "Let Tomorrow Be." Good and greasy, the arrangements find the space between the instruments, so this never shifts into twin guitar overdrive. Rather, the two lead players hover and intertwine their parts without overwhelming the atmosphere or escalating the dueling nature of the instruments. Like the best blues players, they understand that less is ultimately more, bringing acoustic into the mix on the country-funk of "Low Country Boil." Between Gray's flinty voice, Markiton's sultry croon, and a set of terrific songs built around memorable riffs that never overstay their welcome, Howlin' is Delta Moon's most focused, accomplished, and successful release.
Performance CreditsDelta Moon Primary Artist
Scott Callison Percussion,Drums
Phillip "Philzone" Skipper Bass
Kristin Markiton Vocals,Hand Percussion
Mark Johnson Guitar
Technical CreditsJessie Mae Hemphill Composer
Jeff Bakos Producer,Engineer
Scott Callison Composer
Tom Gray Composer
Phillip "Philzone" Skipper Composer
Kristin Markiton Composer
Mark Johnson Composer