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Delta Kings: 4 Chords & The Truth on Innocent Words

5/25/2010 12:00:00 AM

Comfort, the name is Delta Kings. The latest long player from the DKs, weighing in at a value-packed 15 tracks, is out and, boy-oh-boy, is it a treat.

The album in question - 4 Chords & The Truth - is one of those albums you could play on Saturday night to get your party started or as a come down on Sunday morning. It’s a very versatile listen that brings to mind all the best of Mellencamp, Petty and countless other “go-to” rock bands.

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Album Review: Delta Kings' 4 Chords & the Truth on Smile Politely

5/25/2010 12:00:00 AM

The Delta Kings are Cody Sokolski (vocals, rhythm guitar), Matt Stewart (lead guitar), Bill Humphrey (bass) and Terry Hawkins (drums), formed in 1993. 4 Chords & the Truth, recorded with uber-producer Mark Rubel, marks their fifth studio album, and the music is just as honed and in the pocket as you'd expect from a veteran group. Now, bear in mind that 4 Chords doesn't set out to make any grand statements or to change the world. It's the sound of a few friends getting together for a jam, and a good one at that.

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Just a great album and a real iTunes find. (5 stars)

4/7/2011 12:00:00 AM

By bkrchic via iTunes.

There are a lot of great albums out there, but surprisingly few of them are straightforward rock. They're "indie rock," "garage rock" or "pop rock;" "art rock," "blues rock," or "modern rock" (whatever that is.) But while all those have their (often considerable) charms, sometimes you just want an album that has strong melodies, rhythms, and energy - you know, "rock rock." As radio gets ever more niche-driven, those are increasingly hard to find. It's all angsty Pearl Jam clones, Madonna dress-up clones, Gwen Stefani bouncey clones, Vampire Weekend, Disney bands or old 60's singer/songwriters who were rebellious in their youth but now feel an overwhelming need to get in touch with their feelings in a strictly mid-tempo way. 

That is NOT the Delta Kings. These guys play great but unpretentious rock, with songs that are well-written with grooves, actual riffs, catchy choruses and tight rhythms. More than that, there's distinct joy in the music. Nothing is post-modern ironic here; no one is morose, and no one in the Delta Kings is upset because they have to be adults. Instead, they love rock and roll and they sound it, in the same way Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, or The Traveling Wilbury's, always sound like they're having a blast.

There are several standout songs on this album: the psychedelic "It All Comes Down to You," the Kinks-ian "Do You Got Love," the lovely "Something I Gotta Say" and the straight-up "She's Got to Have a Crazy Problem." And while the Delta Kings may not be kids, but they aren't aging gracefully, either. "Gdwmtghnm" is an often hilarious lament to not quiiiite bouncing back from partying like you used to, while "Hats" and "Rock 'n' Roll Will Take You In" show it's possible to be reflective AND rebellious.

It's a shame there's no niche for "rock rock" left on the radio; if there were, this record would be played over and over. This album has become one of my favorites and a car staple.

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American rock and roll lives on "4 Chords & The Truth"

4/7/2011 12:00:00 AM

By Dean Landew (, Singer, songwriter & writer-NYC

American rock and roll lives on "4 Chords & The Truth," the new album by Delta Kings. The cover art immediately shows you what awaits: four men with impeccable taste in rock and roll instruments, standing tall and proud against the darkness.

Lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Cody Sokolski has lived, loved, won a few and lost a few, but never abandons his passion and commitment to rock and roll, and to the woman he loves, regardless of the many difficulties and distractions of day-to-day living. His vocals cover a range of moods, all of them honest and real, from a growl to a purr. Matt Stewart is a perfect foil who plays concise and melodic lead guitar. His slide work is especially noteworthy, and his vocal harmonies are always on the money. The deep-pocket rhythm section of Bill Humphrey on bass and Terry Hawkins on drums provides a rock-solid foundation throughout the record.

Not a word or a note is wasted. Every song is well written, performed and produced. Standout tracks include the intensely catchy "More Than Words," the brooding and bluesy "Do You Got Love" and the touching ballad "Something I Got to Say," which ends the album.

Keep rock and roll alive. Visit the band's website and buy "4 Chords & The Truth."

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Undercover Gem (5 stars)

4/8/2011 12:00:00 AM

By Big Mo 42 via iTunes.

I can't believe this band has so little notoriety, I hope that iTunes can give this band the fame it is worth. These guys love for blues, country and most of all rock and roll is so evident in their music. I hope that other people can appreciate the music as I have. This band may not ever break top 40, but the sheer musicality and melodic ideas are worth at the very least a listen, if not a purchase (one of the better ones you will make!)

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How Refreshing - Real Rock 'n' Roll (4 stars)

4/8/2011 12:00:00 AM

By Spider Rocks via iTunes.

Like Justin Bieber and Michael Buble? Then move along bucko, there's nothing to see here. This is music made by men. Take some Exile-era Stones, some Southern boogie rock, a little Georgia Satellites and a touch of Rockpile (memba them?), and you've got a hint of what the Delta Kings are made of. Slick production work here, too - in a good way. Put it on, turn it up, and crack open a cold one.

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Delta Kings New Album Hits the Streets

4/8/2011 12:00:00 AM

Press Release - April 17, 2010

Recorded in their hometown of Champaign, Illinois at Pogo Studios, “4 Chords & The Truth” is the new long player from the Delta Kings.

“4 Chords & The Truth” makes a stylistic leap forward from their blues-rock, roadhouse roots to a more disciplined dedication to the song.  Whether it be the humorous observations of life’s daily idiosyncrasies or the more serious moments of the world that we are living & dying in, the songs “4 Chords & The Truth” are carved out of fleeting moments of clarity to convey the up & down world in which regular folks live.

The melodicism of the tunes is enhanced & supported by a sparse, but inventive approach to guitars, rhythm & harmony.  Aided & abetted by the rich style and terrific harmony singing of Illinois guitar legend Matt Stewart, the soulful singing of rhythm guitarist Cody Sokolski and the always creative and propulsive rhythmic bedrock laid down by bassist Bill Humphrey & drummer Terry Hawkins, this is The Delta Kings at their best.  Every word, every note and every beat resonates with compassion, wit & humour. With only 8 days to create the record, guitarist Matt Stewart rightly exclaimed, “we didn’t have time to do anything but play good stuff”.

The inventive work of Matt, Terry, Bill & Cody was forged playing in clubs, on outdoor summer stages and concert halls. But it is the 17 years of working in every tavern, farming community town beer joint, smoke-filled bar, funky club, biker summer party, and Lord knows what else (but they probably played it), tucked in the small towns and obscure corners of Illinois that informs “4 Chords & The Truth” with a certain gritty realness that can only be earned.

Recorded at Champaign’s Pogo Studios. on the original Fantasy Records console that CCR used to cut all their classics on, co-producer-Engineer Mark Rubel brought that minimalist rock’n’n’roll mojo forward to help the band capture the urgency and feel of the Delta Kings’ live shows.  Then, ably mixed and mastered in Chicago by the legendary Fred Breitberg who cut his teeth at Chess and Curtom records, “4 Chords & The Truth”  is the record that the band was destined to make when they formed 17 years ago.

Why “4 Chords” instead of Harlan Howard’s legendary “3 Chords”?  Drummer Terry Hawkins explains, “ 3 Chords has already been, so we kicked it up notch”. Delta Kings-- An American Rock’n’Roll band. Kicked up a notch.

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