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House Blend | Episode 38a: Sherry Pruitt and The Delgado Brothers

Uploaded 04/01/2012

Episode 38a: Sherry Pruitt and The Delgado Brothers
Sherry Pruitt    Born in Beaumont Texas in 1956, into a devoutly religious family that includes ministers and gospel musicians, blues diva Sherry Pruitt made her musical debut in church at age six, with a solo rendition of “Eyes On The Sparrow.” Revealing an abundance of raw musical talent early on, Sherry stayed true to her calling and continued singing in church and at school throughout her formative years. In 1974 at age 18, she moved to Los Angeles with her family and began to pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer. Her abilities with gospel music translated handily to singing the blues as well as popular music and she soon began appearing around town in local night clubs and lounges. Eager to improve at her craft and not satisfied to rely solely on her considerable natural ability, Sherry took up vocal training with two of the best coaches in the business, Ronnie Hasley and Bill Collier, who helped her develop the polish and professionalism that is so evident in her performances today.
Sherry’s musical odessey has taken her all over the world, even as far away as Tahiti. When, in 1991, a gospel booking in South Africa fell through and left her stranded for three months, she was taken under the wings of two of that country’s greatest popular entertainers, Blondie Makhene and Brenda Fassie. While in South Africa, she absorbed a wealth of musical and cultural experiences and was able to turn a financial disaster into a tremendous opportunity for personal and professional growth. By 1997 Sherry was ready to “bring it” to the Peer Belgium Blues Festival. Performing with the Barry Levenson Band (Barry Levenson of Canned Heat), on the same day as Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Ike Turner, John Mayall, Joe Louis Walker, Jeniva Magness and The Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Sherry delivered a tour de force performance of Levenson originals that included, Born To Sing The Blues, Steal Away and Te Na Ne Na Nu.
In 2008 Sherry suffered a stroke while performing a gospel set with her mother at Babe’s and Ricky’s Inn, in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. This could have ended her career, but with the loving support of her family and boyfriend, the special devotion of her daughter Akilah, the dedicated doctors and therapists at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, her strong faith in God and her own sheer determination and courage, Sherry won her way back to the stage within a year. She is back in form and back where she belongs.
Sherry makes her home in Long Beach, California, but her musical home is on the band stand, performing for her audience. In addition to Long Beach, she is a popular figure at blues venues in Los Angeles, Pasadena and other Southern California communities. She frequently appears with The Deacon Jones Blues Band, the Delgado Brothers Band and at Southern California Blues Society events. Sherry has a CD that she made with guitarist, Makoto Miyashita called, “Big City Blues,” which is available at The Southern California Blues Society named Big City Blues the Best Self-Produced CD of 2003. Her newest album, which will soon be released on Cold 6 Records is called, “Love Is.” Sherry wrote all of the songs for this project and she performs them with a very pleasing and up-to-date R&B “Neo Soul” styling. Also on Cold 6 Records, Sherry lends her vocal expertise to a fascinating album entitled, “Terraplane – Untitled 1,” which presents a unique fusion of Hip-Hop, Blues and Gospel. Get her CDs or catch her live. By all means, see Sherry Pruitt live, for a thrilling and inspiring performance that you won’t forget.

Driven by fierce independence, unified by family, and fortified by the brotherhood of music, the Delgado Brothers deliver the musical goods; topical anthem-worthy songs complemented by call-to-action lyrics, and East L.A. Soul.
For over 30 years the Delgado Brothers have been music makers, collaborators and ordinary citizens; raising children, grieving the loss of parents, marrying & divorcing. All of this life experience may explain their flare for illuminating everyman’s joys, sorrows, triumphs and losses. The Brothers’ music has long been embraced both locally and globally by a wide spectrum of people undivided by culture, age or socioeconomic status.
The Delgado Brothers have longtime been referred to as Los Angeles’ best kept secret. So just who are these quintessential musicians? The Delgado Brothers are eldest brother Bob Delgado on bass, middle brother Joey D on guitar and vocals, younger brother Steve on drums and vocals, David “B” Kelley on Hammond B3 and Victor Bisetti on congas and timbales.
Each member of the band brings a unique style of musicianship to the Delgado Brothers brand. Indiana- bred David B. Kelley came West in search of “groove and diversity”. An incredibly gifted musician, David’s playing on his “Vintage 1972 Hammond B3” adds tone, texture and depth to the sound and songs.
High energy percussionist Victor Bisetti, with his ebullient beats and Latin conga rhythms, packs each song with vitality and panache.
To witness a Delgado Brothers live performance is to testify to the synergy, emotion, work ethic and true musicianship of the band.
Their latest, self-released 4th CD, Learn to Fly, is testament to the bands long evolution and scope of musical diversity. Raising a variety of real world concerns from the topical, ‘I Wanna Know (what the fighting’s about)’, to the meaningful and brilliantly nuanced, ‘Man Without Plan’.
Los Angeles is filled with a brotherhood of world class musicians, studio players and living legends. So when word got out that The Delgado Brothers were in studio recording their latest release, all the brothers needed to do was ask, and a who’s who of musicians responded. Evidence that by the lineup of players on Learn to Fly. Lee Thornburg led and arranged the all star horn section of Paulie Cerra & Arturo Velasco. Critically acclaimed Latin jazz players, The Banda Brothers syncopate and elevate with Ramon on timbales and drums and brother Tony on bass. Slide guitar great David “Hound-Dog” Melton and blues singing sensation Sherry Pruitt lend their soulful skills. Last but far from least, the Delgado Brothers are joined by The Legendary Chambers Brothers of classic hit songs ‘Time’ & ‘People Get Ready’ fame.
Hardworking and heartfelt, each and every song represents a soaring musical vignette expressing dynamism of musicianship, humanity, & soul.
When asked what propels and inspires the lyric writing, singer, drummer, brother Steve explains, “If you don’t think about the future, be it the environment, your family, your marriage or your job, later on down the road, you’re gonna be sorry. You’ve got to do the work”.
Always original and intensely prepared, these journeyman musicians fully infuse all of their song crafting talent with a sense of urgency and an authentic emotional aspect that rings true with intelligence and depth.
Tug on the Delgado Brothers musical roots and you’ll find big brother Bob’s bass-playing days tied into the East Los Angeles band, Thee Exotics circa 1960’s. Yet another brother, Eddie played with Thee Ambertones during the same period. Creating a perfect musical environment, for younger brothers Steve and Joey only to aspire to.
For years the Delgado Brothers band played venues, clubs and special events throughout Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. In 1987 after being sighted at the in-famous “L.A. Street Scene,” they released their first album on the Hightone Records, with Dennis Walker and Bruce Bromberg, the same producers responsible for Robert Cray’s hit-making success.
After selling 25,000 units worldwide, disappointed, Hightone dropped The Delgado Brothers. “What that experience taught us is that we had to stay true to our artistic convictions and vision. In order to accomplish this we were forced to either wait for the right opportunity, or choose not to seek another record deal,” says guitar playing brother Joey D.
By 1994′, disillusioned, the band stalled out and called it quits. But in 1996, credit goes to long-time Delgado Brother advocate, harp player, recording artist, producer and longtime friend, John “Juke” Logan for reuniting the band. In 1997, the brothers recorded and released their second album, Let’s Get Back, on Logan’s own Mocombo Records. Considered their most blues-centered release by blues aficionados, this album was well reviewed and features a Delgado Brothers perennial signature song, ‘Church of El Monte’.
“The great thing that happened with Let’s Get Back is that John Mayall (John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers) covered two of our songs, ‘If I Don’t Get Home’, and ‘Something About My Baby’, on his album ‘Along for the Ride’ in 2001,” My brother Bob and I also contributed bass and guitar parts to ‘If I Don’t Get Home’, making us honorary Bluesbreakers,” states Joey D.
Royalties from the sale of those two songs financed the release of their third CD, ‘A Brothers Dream’; and the start up of the brothers own Bell Asher Records in 2003.
It is milestone release for a band who has really come into their own by staying true to their musical visions and refusing to bow to corporate gentrification.
From the shadows of their genre-defying brand to the forefront of musical Americana, The Delgado Brothers storytelling and musical focus is one fueled by passion, courage and a heartfelt love of humanity.
Unrestricted by the business end of the music industry, The Delgado Brothers are free to write, sing and produce original content music branded only by the uniqueness of their musical integrity and independence.
Stephen K. Peeples    “House Blend” host, writer and co-producer Stephen K. Peeples is a Grammy-nominated record producer (“Monterey International Pop Festival,” 1992), award-winning radio writer-producer (“The Lost Lennon Tapes,” 1988-1990) and veteran record company executive (Capitol, Elektra/Asylum, Rhino). A Canyon Country resident since early 1988, Peeples wrote about the SCV music scene for The Signal newspaper in 2004-2006 and was Managing Editor of the My Santa Clarita community website in 2006-2007. He was The Signal’s Online Editor and social media manager from October 2007 to May 2011. In 2009 he was honored when was named “Best Website” by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. A jazz and rock drummer since he was 12, Peeples was a member of the underground West L.A. garage band Peaking Duck from 1977-2008. In 2010, he co-founded the SCV-based jazz quartet RainTree.
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