Worcester’s The Delta Generators: Sharing the Stage with Legends
Saturday, August 17, 2013
The Delta Generators, a roots band with deep Worcester ties that combines blues, soul, funk, country and rock n' roll in one beautiful ensemble of New England Americana, have already achieved an amount of success only a relatively few bands could dream of. At least, it seems, that's implied by the names they've been associated with.
Their new record, coming out soon, entitled Get on the Horse, was mixed by Grammy Award winning producer David Z. out at the House of Blues Studio in L.A.. David has also produced albums for Eric Clapton, Etta James, Prince, Buddy Guy, Johnny Lang, Gov't Mule and many others.
The same album was mastered by mastered by David McNair, who is also a Grammy winner and has worked with Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Derek Trucks, Los Lobos and many others.
Who, What and Why: The Band's Early Success
One listen will give you a clue as to why they are already so well-known. Their expertly recorded songs reek of bluesy passion, with funky, wailing guitars, vocals that combine just the right amount of rasp and rhythm, and driving, heavy drums and bass.
The band features Craig Rawding, born, raised in, and a current resident of Worcester, on vocals, Charlie O'Neal on guitar, Rick O'Neal on bass, and Jeff Armstrong on Drums. Charlie, in particular, played for Wind Up recording artist Must, who toured with such acts as Aerosmith, Stone Temple Pilots and Kid Rock.
Charlie and Rick are brothers and have played in many bands together, including the Ben Orr band (from The Cars). Rick also played bass for Johnny A., recording and touring with him for a few years.
They were playing with Jeff in an instrumental jazz,funk, and rock group and decided to try a roots band with vocals. They knew Craig from singing with Heavy Metal Horns and asked him to join up. And so were born the Delta Generators.
The Delta Generators, as a single entity, have accomplished a lot since forming in 2008, in addition to the connections they've formed mentioned above.
They won the Boston Blues Society’s Blues Challenge in 2008, which earned them a spot in the International Blues Challenge held in Memphis in 2009. The band finished as a Top 10 Finalist out of over a hundred bands in Memphis. They also won an Independent Music Award in the Best Blues Album category for their debut, Devil in the Rhythm in 2009.
In just the last couple of years, the Delta Generators have shared the stage with such acts as Robert Cray, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Three Dog Night, Jimmie Vaughn, Tommy Castro, Johnny Winter, Walter Trout, Popa Chubby, Bonerama, Candye Kane, Michael Burks, John Lee Hooker Jr., Nick Moss And The Flip Tops, Sonny Landreth and Lurrie Bell, among many others. Several notable musicians have also sat in with the Delta Generators on stage, including Brad Whitford of Aerosmith and Johnny A.
The Importance of Remaining Grounded
Despite this individual and group success, they've certainly remained grounded. They remember the very deep reason why they love music in the first place.
"It is a way to express yourself and tap into a part of yourself that can't get to any other way. Almost like tapping into the divine," says guitarist Charlie O'Neal.
They still get a "cathartic release of tension and emotion" from the music, says Charlie. They hope their fans get the same "cathartic experience from the music" in addition to a "connection to the lyrics."
Even though they've had early success, they certainly still have goals for the future. The Delta Generators will not be resting on their laurels anytime soon. After all, they're not exactly playing stadiums yet.
We would love to get to the point where we are playing small theaters," remarks Charlie.
"There is more intimacy and freedom to do more dynamic material in that setting than in night clubs."
Once the band gets to this point, it seems, they'll be no stopping them.
For more information on the Delta Generators and to hear some of their music please visit their website or find them on Facebook. You can also check out an MP3 version of their most recent album, Hard River to Row.
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