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Delta Spirit stands on its own

The Sinclair, Cambridge, Mass., August 13, 2015

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

With nothing new to push, Delta Spirit coined the show "Delta Spirit and Friends." While a few friends, including Jessica Lea Mayfield, did, in fact, help out, Delta Spirit squarely stood on their own merits with lead singer Matthew Vasquez the key reason why.

The engaging Vasquez has the ability to go from a quiet atmosphere (the lighting featuring a bunch of light bulbs on stands scattered about the stage helped in that regard) as he did on "Salt in the Wound" and "Language of the Dead" to raising it up more than few notches to a rough sounding approach where you think he'd eventually blow out his voice ("Push It").

No need to worry in a show where Delta Spirit with its influences ranging from Dylan to The Beatles (Delta Spirit did a good cover of "Don't Let Me Down") to roots to indie rock with songs from a variety of its releases.

And while "California" is the best known song from the band, they stuck it in the final third of the regular set instead of conveniently placing it at the end of that set (the sturdy "Trashcan" filled that bill) or during the encore (closing with the anthemic "People Turn Around"). And instead of Vasquez taking the lead vocal on "California," he handing it over to keyboards Kelly Winrich, who wrote it, and turned in a heart-felt and plaintive reading.

Delta Spirit overcame a sudden stoppage in the show mid-way through as an older concert goer passed out on the floor, causing a venue official to halt the show for a few minutes. The gentlemen left The Sinclair on his own two feet, and Delta Spirit did not let the unfortunate turn of events halt its momentum.

Delta Spirit may have even picked it up the pace with the crowd chiming in on the anthemic "People C'mon" and the closing "Trashcan."

As for the friends, Mayfield was chief among them, backing Vasquez on vocals, along with singing a few of her own songs including the bright sounding "Standing in the Sun."

The Parkington Sisters, a trio of actual sisters from Cape Cod, offered a few songs following Mayfield, and stood out in Delta Spirit's first encore, "Devil Knows You're Dead" with twin fiddles going.

Delta Spirit utilized a little from their friends, but, ultimately, they were just fine on own.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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