They play vintage instruments and channel a blues style from the 1950s, but there is a distinct new cyberspace bent to Delta Groove's blues award winning quartet, The Insomniacs.
These musicians who have quickly jumped into the top tier of clubs and whose disc hit No. 5 on the blues charts and has been highly ranked since its release, tour endless highways in a beat up van, babying a gut-string upright, the 1951 Fender “Nocaster” guitar, the 1964 Framus Star Bass and their Magnatone and Ampeg tube amps.
But, they fill the long drives between gigs surfing the web on wireless laptops, looking at the MySpace and Facebook friends lists of the clubs down the road, and personally emailing blues fans to get them to listen to the band and come to the show.
As a result, they get hundreds of plays per day on MySpace, a site usually focused on alternative, pop and hip-hop music. And they've enrolled a whole new generation of first-time young blues fans, as well as older ones who recognize the roots of their music.
The Blues community recognized their talent early on. They won a Muddy Award from Oregon's prestigious Cascade Blues Association for Best New Act of 2006 and Best Contemporary Act of 2007. They are nominated for a 2008 Best New Artist Debut Award from The Blues Foundation and the song "Crime Scene" has been named one of the top 20 contemporary blues songs for 2007 by BluesCritic.com.
Guitarist Vyasa Dodson, whose exotic name is a Sanskrit gift from his Northern California mother, had a revelation when he switched from emulating Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton to studying blues masters such as Junior Watson, Tiny Grimes, Johnny “Guitar'' Watson, Charlie Christian, and Little Charlie Baty.
“The Blues isn't dead,” says singer and guitarist Vyasa Dodson, 26, “It's just going in different directions. B.B. King and Buddy Guy got started when they were young. The same thing is happening today.”
“Blues music just speaks to me,” says bassist Dean Mueller, who had his mind blown teaching at Centrum's Port Townsend Country Blues Festival, where he jammed with John Cephas, Louisiana Red and Honeyboy Edwards. “It was just so cool. I knew I had found my home.”
Together with Alex Shakeri ..s and Dave Melyan on drums they bust out with an original mix of blues, swing, jump, and roots rock & roll that has crowds dancing the night away. You can't get that energy from a computer, the Internet, MySpace or a DVD.
Put on your dancing shoes before you take a test drive of “Left Coast Blues” and check it out yourself.
The last thing you'll want to do is sleep.