Most people don’t realize that New Orleans is the tail end of the Mississippi River Delta, so “delta” blues has always fit in here with the rest of the great roux of Crescent City music. This is obvious from the first notes and drum hits of Luke Winslow-King’s The Coming Tide, where Winslow-King combines Smokey Johnson’s “It Ain’t My Fault” riff with a gospel slide guitar to warn listeners “to fall in line for the coming tide.” It is a great combination, and sets a good tone for the rest of Winslow-King’s fourth recording. King’s guitar, precise and cutting, and his unadorned harmonies with fellow singer Esther Rose, are the consistent ingredients of this CD, which touches on traditional jazz with “Moving On (Toward Better Days)”, straight up waltzes on “Staying In Town,” and Mississippi blues in “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning.”
There is a slight theme of changing times and what to do while waiting—whether to party down like “I’ve Got the Blues on Rampart Street” encourages or to seek safety in the arms of a loved one as the protagonist in “You and Me” does. The sound here is clear, and the arrangements tight. Winslow-King’s knowledge and affinity for these seemingly different genres make any listeners who didn’t know already realize that this is all one music depending on the emphasis. No matter what you call this kind of music, Luke Winslow-King and his band play it well and with a great, low-key authority.