“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.