The Della Grants have been together since 2014 and are a blues/rock four piece ably staffed by Max Manning and Tom Best (both sharing guitar, vocals and harmonica), Andy Boulton (bass), Tom Walker (drums) and with regular contribution from Tony Robinson (organ, piano and horn).
The band has released two albums in their relatively short time on the blues circuit -Time For Change (2014) and First Fix (2015). The band built on these releases with a commitment to live performance. A quick look at the band’s live video recordings on their well-stocked website will persuade even the most discerning blues aficionado to check them out. With headline shows attracting glowing reviews, the band has shared stages with such greats as Nine Below Zero, Canned Heat and Wilko Johnson.
When the band emerged from Yellow Bean Studios in Leicester in June 2017, they must have been confident they had rewarded their growing fan base with something truly special. Recorded live, they have re-visited older tracks and added new material on this their third offering – The Live Room Sessions Volume 1. Jez Burns’ production on the album has brought out something sublime through the live approach to recording. The warmth, flow and authenticity of the performance are testimony to the hard work of the last three years.
The album starts on a firm foot with ‘Lay My Head’ and sets the scene for a journey through blues, Americana and a dash of rock n’ roll. The opening harmonica builds to a foot-tapping crescendo where guitars, harmonica and organ are carefully layered into a solid opener where the rhythm falls away smoothly in the bridge only to be lifted to the traditional blues finale.
The edgy feel to new tracks ‘The River’ and ‘Sunrise’ is both haunting and hypnotising. The groove is infectious as the pace slows and shows us that these guys know that dark and shade lifts an album. The skill of this outfit weaves through each track as we hear the guitars swap soloing duties across the album. Musos will hear guitar tones to die-for and the melodies and harmonies of such tracks as ‘More Than Pray’ provide a near-religious experience in that organ performance (no pun intended).
The third of the new tracks ‘William Clay’ swings with a feel-good vibe that is polished with Robinson’s piano and yet another accomplished guitar solo. For a band that could step on stage in any venue across the Atlantic, they don’t lose their roots. The lyrics are often delivered with an East Midlands twang and that adds something to the mix.
The direction changes with ‘Weaker Man’ and features a muted trumpet and a bass line that skulks and slithers behind the under-stated guitars. This is a stand-out track and has a brooding feel that cements the view that this is an outstanding album.
With an album so rich in breadth and depth, a closing track has to ram the point home. In ‘Red Mist’ we hear a rowdy, almost boozy song where Manning sings about getting (sic) his boots on. This attitude is refreshing and displays a passion for what these guys are really about – live music.
As we speak, the band is busy raising funds from this production to finance their new studio album and I can only expect that to be yet another tour-de-force.
The Della Grants are continuing their live schedule in the coming weeks and I’d thoroughly recommend you go and see them. This album is good for your soul. Hell, I may even jump on the Megabus and head to ‘that England’ to catch them myself. See you down the front!
Live Room Sessions Volume 1 is now available via the band’s website at
And you can follow them at
Lay My Head
More Than Pray