Review: Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar – Send The Nightingale

Posted on: Thursday, Apr 16, 2015

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Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar – Send The Nightingale

(Self-release: SMCD1501)

Here’s a lovely album from Canada that’s been out a little while, but fully deserving of a mention – indeed, it is one of the best things I’ve heard so far this year – with Samantha Martin’s soulful voice out front on a rootsy 11-track collection, “Send The Nightingale”; she is ably assisted by her band Delta Sugar, who comprise Mikey McCallum (electric guitar), Sherie Marshall and Stacie Tabb (both backing vocals), and guest organ from Jimmy Hill.

Samantha Martin besides having a most engaging voice also plays acoustic and resonator guitar, and the young lady and ensemble lay down a most entertaining sound that reminded me in parts of the swampy Muscle Shoals sound, with gospel, blues and country edges. The album starts in fine style with the glorious harmonies of “Give Me Your Mercy”, with ably illustrates the lady’s super voice – at times gentle and a gritty roar when required; the following “Addicted” has a rolling Memphis soul feel, with the backing singer of Sherie Marshall and Stacie Tabb to the fore.

The sweet ballad “When You Walk Away” is another gem – think Otis Redding’s “These Arms Of Mine” and you’re not a million miles away – with shimmering guitar from Mikey McCallum, whose contributions add to the general appeal of the songs. The big guitar ‘twang’ intro to the country tune “Don’t Shoot” is another highlight – again, with layer of harmonies from Martin and the backing singers – and a mention here for the keyboards of Jimmy Hill.

Elsewhere we have the uptempo stomper “One More Day”, complete with stomps and claps from all; the beautiful “Mississippi Sun” – again in a country sort of vibe – Mikey McCallum featuring strongly again on this one; and the gospel slow burner “I Won’t Justify”. This smashing album ends in fine style with the a capella “Tell The Heavens” . . . with just the voices of the ladies . . . a lovely ending to a most recommended release.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.samanthamartin.ca

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