Ray Cashman‘s new album, Delta Sound, brings the Houston singer-guitarist back around full circle to what he calls ‘down-home, southern style blues.’ He comments, “The past two records were harder blues-rock, almost southern rock in some spots. I felt I’d started to stray a bit too far from where I came from. Those are great records, and I’m certainly proud of them, but they aren’t where I want to be, musically, right now. I wanted to go back to the spirit of my older records, they were distinctly more rooted in blues.”
Delta Sound‘s 12 tracks spin tales of working class friendships, hardships and love, all from the time-tested perspective of someone who’s been honing his songwriting chops for well over two decades. “I just write what comes to me. Some are first-person, which, of course, I’ve changed to ‘protect the innocent,’ and others are completely fictional. I’m a wannabe novelist, but I realized early on I was much better at telling a story in a few verses rather than a few hundred pages, so I became a songwriter.”
Recorded in Clarksdale, MS by GRAMMY-nominated producer Gary Vincent, Cashman’s stripped down sound cuts straight to the bone evoking a more intimate experience – as if you’re watching him play in somebody’s living room. “I stay in Clarksdale a month or more every year, so I’ve gotten to know all the guys who I had from down there on the record; they’re good friends and better musicians. Basically, this is my live sound. I’m kinda done playing with bands. I prefer to travel by myself or maybe with a harp player. One of the things that was important in making this record – really any record I make – is that the songs all have to be different; I don’t want to be repetitive.”
Cashman’s songs range from a jukin’ shuffle to a back porch jam to pure blues grooves, with moods that range from undeniably celebratory to undeniably eerie and foreboding – all thoroughly infused with the spirit of the delta and all a rewarding ride.