What do you get when you mix swing fiddle, 3 finger banjo, sock guitar rhythm and bluegrass bass together with a sincere passion and facility with both bluegrass and western swing music? In at least one case, you find yourself with Delta Reign.
The group is the brainchild of Pat and Benita Murphy of lower Alabama, or LA as they refer to it down on the Gulf Coast. They grew up with an interest in bluegrass music, a fascination they nurtured by moving to central Virginia for a time in the 1980s, only to return to Mobile to start their family after a few years in the Blue Ridge.
Pat developed a recording studio and sound reinforcement business, while Benita trained horses, all the while continuing to perform in regional touring bands. In recent years, the concept for a bluegrass/swing hybrid group took shape, and Delta Reign was born.
Benita is a strong rhythm guitarist, and Pat an agile banjoist. Both sing as well, and after several years of auditions and performing, they have brought fiddler George Mason and bassist Joshue Faul into the band.
Their debut CD, Home, was released this summer with a mix of original and classic songs that cross the grass and swing boundaries.
Here’s a taste of their sound on Hank Williams’ There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight.