By Ken DeLaat
Delilah DeWylde blew into town Saturday night with a show that celebrated the rockabilly sound as she shared both historical references and some mighty fine music from the Black Box stage.
Ms. D’s show has evolved since we last saw her perform, a lapse of time we are committed to not have happen again given the level of jollification her shows produce. With a clever backdrop of photos channeling the era she musically references, Delilah stormed through a delightful series of rockabilly classics. Some of her numbers were familiar selections while others were written and recorded by unsung heroes of the genre, fascinating folks she used short vignettes to describe in an entertaining and relevant to the music manner.
Beyond her abundance of talent and dominating stage presence Ms. D has a genuine passion for the distinctive and groundbreaking sound that gave birth to Rock and Roll.Whether sharing an anecdote about a favored songwriter of the era or delivering on their music with her personal touch etched into it DeWylde exudes a deep regard and abiding respect for this pioneering blend of old style country and rhythm and blues.
She busted out her first set with some early Elvis a little Buddy Holly and some Johnny Cash while tossing in some names like Wayne Walker and Janet Martin and other artists who breathed life into the rockabilly movement. After delivering on an original tune “You Ain’t The Only Game In This Old Town” the trio hit intermission at full speed with the Cash classic “I Walk The Line” and Holly’s “That’ll Be The Day”.
Returning, the band ran through a number of hits from the era with “That’s Alright Mama”, “Peggy Sue”, “Hot Rod Lincoln”, Folsom Prison”, “Crazy”, and “Blue Suede Shoes” submitted for rousing approval.
It was a mixed crowd with both Delilah ‘veterans’ as well as some first timers sharing in what proved to be a highly entertaining evening. Among them were Gary and Gloria Switzer who were celebrating a half century of marriage with family and friends at the concert. The always affable Ms. D called them out to a makeshift dance floor while she crooned the Patsy Cline classic “I Fall to Pieces”
She also revealed a bit of a Fremont connection citing a few decades ago when her Grandparents moved there to work at Gerber while her Dad was growing up and she recalled coming to the town for ‘Old Fashioned Days’.
The band looks a bit minimalist with just Johnny HiWatt on snare drum, Lee Harvey on guitar and Delilah with her stand up bass, yet don’t be deceived. The tuneful trio captures a richness of sound and allows ample room for the substantial talent of Mr. Harvey to be front and center. The guitarist reveals a wide range of instrumental influence and delivers in a manner that appears to downplay the degree of difficulty his work requires.
Kudos to the Dogwood Center for bringing Ms. D back. She is a popular figure in these parts and with good reason.
Her shows are fun.
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