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JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Music Spotlight Review

Sean Michel

Sean Michel
Electric Delta

Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 11 tracks: 44 minutes, 26 seconds
Street Date: April 2, 2013
Buy It: AmazonMP3

Just over a year ago, in January 2012, southern rock & roll artist Sean Michel (pronounced like "Michelle") released an album called Back to the Delta. The album was released only on cassette and vinyl, and was written and recorded without the use of a fancy recording studio and editing software; rather, Michel recorded the bluesy tunes in about as old school of a way as possible. Now, after a successful Indiegogo campaign, Michel and band are offering up the official follow-up album, and this time, the instruments are plugged in and louder.

Michel's new album is called Electric Delta, and it takes everything that fans love about his style of music and amps it up. The sound is still down home, southern, and a little dirty, though, so fans of Back to the Delta should have no problem adjusting to these new songs - especially considering that a lot of what this new album has to offer is pretty laidback southern rock. Take "Mississippi Mud" for example; it's got a solid guitar riff with modern garage rock vocals that take the best of The Black Keys and Ravenhill, but it's set to a mid-tempo beat. "Nobody's Fault But Mine" and "Hosea Blues" are also terrific examples of this sound that works so well for the former American Idol contestant.

Michel is southern rock straight to the bone, from his appearance to the way he plays his guitar with his soul. And from time to time, he's also apt to pull out some blues (southern rock's cousin). The majority of "Everything I Had" has all the key elements of a blues song; the light and rhythmic drums leading the way for a steady guitar while Michel sings about losing everything. Though instead of just singing about how terrible it is, he realizes he can find joy in it: "I've always heard it said, 'joy come in the mornin' time,' but dear Lord Jesus, sure could use that strength in this midnight hour...Jesus surely said, 'You gonna have some trouble on this earth,' but don't fear, my child, He's overcome every obstacle." There's certainly nothing wrong with singing a sad song when you feel sad, but it's also important to remember in the end that Jesus will meet all of our needs. "Unbelievable" is pretty bluesy as well, with a guitar line that would make ZZTop proud, but again, the lyrics manage to pull the joy out of the less-than-ideal situation (in this case, it seems to be the fickleness of fame, and it's inevitable meaninglessness in the end).

You see and hear this joy and hope all throughout Electric Delta: the slow and lengthy "The River Song," the upbeat, gospel song "He Is The One," and the hymn-like "Death Knockin'" all feature this theme. "Hosea Blues," however, is another story. At first, it seems as though Michel is talking, perhaps more descriptive than some may be comfortable with, about an unfaithful lover of his own ("My baby girl ain't nothin' but a fiery ho, wanderin' places she never should go, opens her legs to them mens so she won't be po', what she don't know is dem mens could never save her soul"). But progressing a little further into the song, and having a knowledge of the book of Hosea, we see that Michel is speaking from God's perspective about the unfaithful nation of Israel, and His plan of action to, in some way, redeem Israel from their disobedience and sin. He speaks very poignantly when he sings "I'm about to show you girl just how much I love you, and if you're not careful it just might kill you, it might kill Me too."

After Sean Michel's Indie Go Go campaign last year was funded, eagerness for Electric Delta came all too easy. And it's safe to say that the album has not disappointed. The instrumentation is strong and the songs are full of life, soul, and praise. If southern rock, blues, gospel, or any combination of the three is your thing, head over to AmazonMP3 or iTunes and pick up a copy and let the songs move you from the inside out.

- Review date: 4/3/13, written by Scott Fryberger of

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. Record Label: None
. Album length: 11 tracks: 44 minutes, 26 seconds
. Street Date: April 2, 2013
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Mississippi Mud (3:11)
  2. Unbelievable (2:58)
  3. Nobody's Fault But Mine (2:55)
  4. The Curse Is Broken (3:54)
  5. Hosea Blues (4:28)
  6. While I Run This Race (3:21)
  7. The River Song (7:00)
  8. He Is The One (3:15)
  9. Everything I Had (4:23)
  10. Death Knockin' (4:47)
  11. Lord I Wait (4:14)




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