ANDY: You’re currently supporting The Coral for a few dates. How’s that going, do The Coral fans “get” Delta Maid?
DELTA MAID: It’s been good, it’s quite different to what I’m normally used to, I’ve just come off the back of the Seth Lakeman tour which was obviously quite a folky acoustic audience, but The Coral are doing this acoustic set for three dates so I feel quite comfortable doing this with them because it’s just me on my own with a guitar. It’s been really good, really good, it’s been quite lively.
ANDY: So you’ve had a good response from the audiences?
DELTA MAID: I’d say so yeah. When I first got told i was doing these supports I didn’t know whether I’d go down well or what as it’s just me and a guitar, but it’s been good, really good.
ANDY: Have you played Manchester before.
DELTA MAID: I’ve played Manchester quite a few times especially early on when I just was starting out, I’ve played Manchester more than anywhere else to be honest, a lot around the Northern Quarter and that, so it feels quite at home to be honest Manchester to me.
ANDY: The city does have a very folky vibe about it at the moment, especially in the Northern Quarter.
DELTA MAID: It is yeah, quite singer songwriter which is dead good.
ANDY: Your sound is very blues based. Where did that come from as it’s not really typical of your home town of Liverpool? Are you family musical?
DELTA MAID: Basically they are really big music fans and big blues fans so I’ve been brought up listening to a lot of blues and rootsy music. They were into new, well modern blues like BB King, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughn and from that sort of influence I got into the Delta Blues just through that, but they’ve been massive blues fans and that’s probably infiltrated into me. I owe it to them really.
ANDY: How was that received when you were younger at school for instance, when your friends would be listening to pop music and you were talking about Robert Johnson. I assume most had never heard of your influences?
DELTA MAID: No, I think with the country thing, I’ve listened to a lot of country, growing up in school a lot of my friends Mum and Dads sort of listened to country music so we sort of had that connection. I was always a little bit like had a different sort of musical taste to my friends but it’s not as if I’ve exclusively just listened to that sort of music, I always listened to the charts and modern stuff as well like Madonna and stuff like that, so I could talk about music to my friends.
ANDY: Who would say was the main inspiration for you, the person or people that made you want to sing and pick up a guitar?
DELTA MAID: It was a woman called Rory Block and I think I got her album when I was about fourteen. I’ve always been into music, but I think when I heard her, for whatever reason, something about her and I think it’s because she was the first person to sort of introduce me to Delta blues and that sound and that way of playing guitar. I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, I just thought it was unbelievable and that really did inspire me to pick up a guitar and want to play, it was her, I’d say. It’s not really a difficult question for me to answer because she’s so important to me.
ANDY: So it’s not as if there are a few people you would regards as main influences, it’s quite simply Lori Block?
DELTA MAID: Yeah, definitely.
ANDY: You’ve been working on an album recently is that finished yet and will it be all brand new songs or will anything from the “Broken Branches EP” be on there?
DELTA MAID: I’ve just finished the album and it’s out April. The EP was more or less a stepping stone towards the album, like an introductory piece and I did a couple of blues cover on there. There’s two songs off the EP that are going to be on the album that are a little bit more embellished I should say as there’s a lot more musicians playing on the album. The rest of the songs are all like, they haven’t been released or anything and I can’t wait for them to come out because I’ve been sitting on them such a long time.
ANDY: You have a couple of demo's up on your MySpace and one in particular “Running on Empty” is very piano based.
DELTA MAID: That’s on the album.
ANDY: It has a great clean sound that really sounds as though it could be released as it is. Where was that recorded?
DELTA MAID: That’s my brother that did that, he did it in his bedroom. He does a bit of music production so he helped me out with the early demo's, so yeah that’s his work.
ANDY: Who played the piano on that demo, it really is a great sound?
DELTA MAID: I play the piano as well. Thank you.
ANDY: I notice you are performing at Gary Barlow’s 40th next week. How did that come about?
DELTA MAID: It came about through the label, but I feel so honoured that he’s asked me, especially as it’s for his birthday you know. It’s going to be with a full band, going to do a lot of up tempo tracks so it will be a little bit different to what I normally do with just me and a guitar type of thing. Yeah, it came about through the label and I’m just so honoured that he asked me personally to do it.
ANDY: So it’s a personal request from him, he’s heard your music, likes it and wants you to play? That must be fantastic.
DELTA MAID: Yeah it is. I’m quite nervous though to tell you the truth but looking forward to it as well.
ANDY: That must also be a welcome celebrity endorsement of your music?
DELTA MAID: Oh God most definitely yeah, he’s so respected isn’t he with his song writing and that.
ANDY: I think he is and Take That in general are respected as artists and not viewed just as a boy band.
DELTA MAID: No, not at all, of course that’s why they are so successful.
ANDY: And what are you hoping for from 2011. You’re obviously off to a great start, supporting The Coral, the Gary Barlow gig and the album due out in April, hopefully it will be a big year for you?
DELTA MAID: I hope so, you know it’s a case of promoting the album just hoping people like it, and then gigging and doing a lot of festivals, getting out there and playing, because that’s the most enjoyable part of it for me, apart from making the album it’s playing and gigging.
ANDY: Do you prefer playing live rather than the recording process?
DELTA MAID: I enjoy both of them but there’s something about the live playing that I absolutely love. I do really love recording and stuff, but it can be a little bit insulated whereas when you’re going out live it’s different every night and you’re with people a lot and that’s the reason why I got into it because I love playing live.
ANDY: I guess one of the big differences is that playing live you are receiving immediate feedback?
DELTA MAID: That’s it I suppose, it’s a buzz isn’t it live.
ANDY: Great, thank you very much for your time.
DELTA MAID: Thank you.
Interview @ The Ruby Lounge, Manchester 16/01/11 By Andy
Photos by Shay Rowan