Roots ‘N Roll — Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar

By Peter Jabs

It’s all there. The raw, world-worn voice, pounding rhythm, biting guitar, and sweet backup vocals will start your toes tapping and lead you onto the dance floor where your brain chemistry will be altered to the state of a natural high. There’s no need for alcohol or drugs. That’s right, you can dance your way out of an addiction with the gospel soul blues offered by Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar. Although, I do find myself craving more of that sugar.

On the evening of November 4, the Sleeping Giant Folk Music Society will be presenting Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar for your enjoyment and mental health. Born and raised in Edmonton by her truck-driving dad and soul music-loving mom, Martin started her blues career in Toronto with roots rockers The Haggard. She halved that octet down to herself, her backup singers, and guitar for a Folk Alliance showcase, and the Calgary Folk Fest asked for that combo rather than her big band for their festival. And so Delta Sugar was born. They received such great responses that her focus shifted more to the tighter, simpler group.

The record that they are presently touring, Send the Nightingale, is dedicated to her mother who passed away recently. It reverberates with the deeply felt emotions associated with her death. “Don’t let us sleep, and don’t let us moan, don’t let us suffer, take us swiftly home,” she pleads over the soul-satisfying groove of “Take Us Swiftly Home.” “One More Day” exemplifies gospel soul to a tee while “Don’t Shoot” rocks along and “Give us your Mercy” unrelentingly shows none. Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar is sure to cure what ails you.

Catch Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar at the Port Arthur Polish Hall on November 4. Visit sleepinggiant.ca for details.