French-Caribbean blues band Delgres, is performing the final New York show of their tour on Sept. 25. The forthcoming concert at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan will feature the three-member band playing tunes from their recently released album, “Mo Jodi,” and it is a chance for them to showcase the diversity of the project, said the lead vocalist.
“We’ve been touring a lot for two years now, and had the idea to have fun and keep playing live as much we can until we recorded the album,” said Pascale Danae. “Now it’s different because we’re going to show more details and dynamics of the album, and play some of the songs that show the diversity of feelings.”
The Paris-based band got its name after the mixed-race Guadeloupean officer Louis Delgres, who sacrificed his life to stop the reinstatement of slavery on the French territory. Danae’s parents were born on Guadeloupe, and he says the military leader is a highly regarded figure on the island. As a believer in revolution, he saw Delgres as the perfect person to name his band after because one of the group’s mission is exploring social justice through music.
“I believe in the values of revolution, and this is what we do in the background — we fight for freedom and fight for personal values and stand up for human beings,” he said.
Along with vocals, Danae is band guitarist, and the other two members Baptiste Brondy and Rafgee, play the drums and sousaphone, respectively.
He describes the band’s music as an eclectic mixture of sounds from the French Caribbean and the American South, particularly New Orleans. Highly influenced by a lot of genres — he says the group incorporates them all into their sound.
“We’re definitely inspired by the old time blues men from the American south, rock, and a lot of traditional music from the Caribbean such as the big drums that are close to African roots,” said Danae. “I make a strong connection to that, and even when I sing and play the guitar, I usually stay on chord to make it very traditional.”
Most of the lyrics in the band’s compositions are sung in French-Creole, and a select few in English and French. But writing and singing music in the language, which is not as popular to the English-speaking world, Danae maintains that their songs still resonate with non-creole speakers.
“We have the experience of playing in many festivals and even when people don’t know our music, once they start listening to it — they easily get into the groove because it’s so strong,” he said. “So if someone doesn’t understand the language, the way I sing in creole allows people to relate to the feeling and excitement, and they can really get a grip on the meaning of the song through the sentiment.”
Danae hopes guests come to the show to enjoy a new style of music, and promises it will be just as educational, as it will be entertaining.
“I think they’ll enjoy having a great time because there are two levels to what we do — you can come and listen to great grooves of blues, rock music with a Caribbean spice, and also because I take the time to explain a little bit of what the song is about and get into the historical part,” he said.
Delgres at Joe’s Pub [425 Lafayette St. between E. 4th and E. 8th streets in Manhattan, (212) 539-8778, www.joesp
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