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The Paul Delay Band | Live at Notodden '97

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Blues: Blues Vocals Blues: Harmonica Blues Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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Live at Notodden '97

by The Paul Delay Band

Recently discovered, this is a stunning 1997 recording of one of the most soulful & innovative blues artists in memory--the late singer/songwriter/harp player Paul deLay--performing in front of an ecstatic Norwegian audience.
Genre: Blues: Blues Vocals
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Intro (Live)
0:50 $0.99
2. Come on with It (Live)
2:51 $0.99
3. Wealthy Man (Live)
4:21 $0.99
4. Nice and Strong (Live)
5:11 $0.99
5. Paul Talks (Live)
0:59 $0.99
6. Come Home Baby (I Wish You Would) [Live]
6:05 $0.99
7. Rainy Marie (Live)
3:37 $0.99
8. I Can't Quit You No (Live)
3:24 $0.99
9. What Went Wrong (Live)
4:59 $0.99
10. Say What You Mean (Live)
5:09 $0.99
11. I Know You Got Another Man (Live)
3:47 $0.99
12. I'm Gonna Miss Talking to You (Live)
4:53 $0.99
13. Love on a Roll (Live)
4:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"If the world were a hipper place, Paul deLay would have been a superstar." --Rick Estrin, Little Charlie & the Nightcats

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Liner note essay by longtime Oregonian music critic John Foyston:

Paul deLay's untimely death a decade ago at the age of 55 seemed a cruel trick of the cosmos. His death stilled one of the most original voices in all of blues, an artist at the height of his powers, who transcended notions of black or white; of authenticity; who existed on a plane of pure emotion and invention.

He didn't write standard blues songs, nor was he part of the herd of blues harmonica players, some of whom perhaps gravitate to the harp because of its portability and simplicity. Few if any of those could play a diatonic harp solo as concise and cliché-free as deLay's on “Wealthy Man.” As for the jazzy calliope of his chromatic harp over the bass-driven funk of “Nice and Strong” – well, there's no one else in the blues world who can do that.

And his voice – he had no business being the great singer he was, thanks to pipes that recalled Andy Devine's more than your stereotypical blues shouter. But there it is: deLay was – is – great because he was never a stereotype. Instead he was a funny, intelligent, basically shy man who was a great blues musician because he was unafraid to open the conduit to his heart and soul. And he was backed by a superb band that could essay the way-beyond-12-bar-blues complexity and subtlety of his songs; compatriots who believed in deLay and his music.

You can hear all that on this just-discovered recording of deLay and his superb band at their peak, in front of a crowd of enthusiastic Norwegians at the 1997 Notodden Blues Festival. It's a completely unexpected bonus, and perhaps a bit of cosmic recompense for deLay's untimely departure, that this recording came to light on the 10th anniversary of his departure, and 20 years after this performance.

Back in 1998, the Notodden festival released a 10th anniversary compilation CD which included, “What Went Wrong” by the Paul deLay Band. That was a nice surprise, as the band hadn’t realized their set was being recorded. Plus they felt honored to be included on a cd with blues artists including B.B. King, Luther Allison, and Robert Cray. But that's as far as it went, a pleasant surprise, until a year ago, when Louis Pain and Peter Dammann got to wondering whether a recording of their complete ’97 set might exist. It turned out that the deLay Band’s performance was still fondly remembered by Notodden festival goers, including current festival General Manager Jostein Forsberg, who had been a performer back in ’97. Remarkably, Forsberg was able to track down a recording of the set.

Listening to this CD, it’s no surprise that the performance was still remembered by Norwegian blues fans: from the ascending intro of “Come On with It” to the rolling lilt of “Love on a Roll,” the band and deLay serve notice that this hour is all theirs. You'll soon find your own favorite parts.

Against all odds, we have a new Paul deLay Band album. Maybe the cosmos has some good tricks up its sleeve, too…

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The Little Village Foundation generously offered to place "Live at Notodden '97" on their prestigious record label, and we happily agreed. This is a remarkable non-profit organization whose releases have consistently won awards and critical acclaim. We urge you to visit their website and learn what the LVF is all about!

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A few years out of jail and off hard drugs, Paul deLay gives all of his creative self to original material presented to a festival audience in Norway ten years before his demise from leukemia in 2007...his harmonicas are always right on the mark with declaratory statements that evidence the endurance of Chicago and West Coast blues.

—Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat, September 2017

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Paul DeLay passed away in 2007 so it is strangely appropriate that this CD, recorded ten years before his death, should see the light of day ten years after his passing. Paul’s band had traveled to Norway in 1997, given a great performance and were flattered to find that they had been recorded and one of their tunes had appeared alongside BB King, Luther Allison and Robert Cray on a commemorative disc of the festival. It was years later that two members of the band thought to inquire whether tapes still existed of the whole performance and the Norwegians responded in the affirmative. So, after all these years we have a new Paul DeLay recording to enjoy.

Paul came from the Pacific Northwest and his high quality band of the time was based in Portland, Oregon. Alongside Paul’s harmonica and vocals we have Louis Pain on B-3, Peter Dammann on guitar, Dan Fincher on sax, Mike Klobas on drums and John Mazzocco on bass. Paul wrote all the material here bar one Muddy Waters cover, the members of the band chipping in on a few tunes.

After a short introduction we are straight into the short “Come On With It” which acts as a warm-up for the band. Initial sound quality problems improve on “Wealthy Man” in which Paul declares that he may not be rich but he is doing fine with his girl’s affections while Peter lays down a fine solo. Dan Fincher’s sax is a great asset on all the material here, adding depth to the arrangements and joining Paul in creating what sounds at times like a horn section and his work is impressive on “Nice and Strong” which also features John’s bass to strong effect.

Above all what comes out strongly here is Paul’s personality, not only in his exuberant playing but also in his obvious delight at the reception he is getting and his humorous asides. In a section entitled “Paul Speaks” he introduces the band and then apologizes for his appearance, caused by British Airways’ loss of his luggage (very embarrassing for a Brit reviewer!). The sole cover follows, an extended reading of the slow Muddy Waters blues “Come Home Baby” which features Paul’s mellow harp work. “Rainy Marie” adds some Cajun rhythms and “I Can’t Quit You No” keeps the band rocking. The pace drops for “What Went Wrong”, a soulful ballad about a deteriorating relationship which Paul sings well with Peter and Dan playing well in unison but things get rocking again on the bouncing shuffle “Say What You Mean”.

Paul introduces “I Know You Got Another Man” in humorous fashion and it provides an interesting tune with John’s bubbling bass and Louis’ organ stabs providing great support for Peter to cut loose on his solo. The song also gives Paul plenty of opportunity to have fun with his vocals, as can be heard by his chuckles at the end. The touching “I’m Gonna Miss Talking To You” is an emotional ballad with lovely playing from the whole band, a song that was clearly written with a broken romance in mind but now takes on a different dimension when you think of Paul’s untimely passing. “Love On A Roll” is a barn-storming finale that has solos for everybody though Paul sounds like he is suffering vocally at the end of the show.

The many fans of Paul DeLay’s playing will be delighted that these tapes were recovered to make a fine memorial to his playing and personality.

—John Mitchell, Blues Blast Magazine, October 16, 2017

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DeLay was an original, a chromatic harp player who incorporated a jazzy tone into his music; and an inventive songwriter with the ability to express his personal feelings in the songs that he wrote. He had a keen sense of humor, loved a good pun and was one of a kind.

Paul Joseph deLay was born in Portland, Oregon in 1952. His band was first formed in 1976. Their debut vinyl LP was 1982’s “Teasin’” on the CIS Northwest imprint. Between 1984 and 1986 he released three more LP’s on the Criminal Records label. In the late 1980’s deLay was suffering from alcohol and cocaine addiction. In 1990 he was arrested for drug trafficking and began serving a 41 month sentence at The Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. As a tribute to him his band continued to perform as The No Delay Band with Linda Hornbuckle as lead vocalist. While in prison two recordings, which had also been “in the can”, were released; 1991’s “The Other One” and 1992’s “Paulzilla”. After serving his sentence these recordings were re-packaged as 1996’s “Take It from The Turnaround”, that same year deLay also released 1996’s “Ocean of Tears”, both on Evidence Records.

This live recording of The Paul deLay Band was recorded at the Notodden (Norway) Blues Festival in 1997. The band lineup included deLay, harp and vocals; Peter Dammann, guitar; Louis Pain, Hammond B-3; Dan Fincher, saxophone; John Mazzocco, bass; and Mike Klobas, drums.

No one even knew this concert had been recorded. Back in 1998 the Notodden Festival issued a 10th anniversary compilation with, “What Went Wrong”, a song taken from this performance. Last year Pain and Dammann began to inquire whether more of their set might exist.
Vocally deLay sounds a bit like Andy Devine but with a whole lot of soul. The recording demands that you play it loud so that you might hear every little nuance that was deLay. The eleven track set includes “What Went Wrong” from their “Ocean of Tears” album and nine more originals; including five from their then not yet released “Nice and Strong” recording. Highlights include “Wealthy Man”, “I Can’t Quit You No” and an absolutely fabulous cover of Muddy Waters’ “Come Home Baby (I Wish You Would)”. The band is solid throughout the recording.

In 1999 deLay received a Blues Music Award nomination in the category of Best Instrumentalist – Harmonica. His untimely death on March 7th, 2007 was a shock to the blues world. Rick Estrin says “If the world were a hipper place, Paul deLay would have been a superstar”.

This “out of this world” performance may be the Historical Album of The Year.

Richard Ludmerer, Making a Scene!, September 2017



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