Death has an interesting effect on humans; it has a remarkably peculiar way of transforming us. Whether it be anticipating your own or living beyond someone else’s passing, it has a way of taking the priorities in your life and reshaping them, giving you fresh perspectives and overall new outlooks that otherwise may have never revealed themselves to you.
In the wake of unspeakable tragedy, always is born anew… amidst the ashes, the phoenix is born.
For the band Delta Nove, the tragedy came in 2019, while they were in the process of recording their newest project and lost their drummer, co-vocalist and driving creative force, Dominic Feedam, due to an unsuccessful bout against cancer. What came next, was almost just as unimaginable. After a few months of healing, the surviving band members decided to regroup in early 2020 and finish the project they had started as a family. The world, however, decided to go in a slightly different direction. As if losing a musical brother wasn’t hard enough, the COVID-19 pandemic threw an entirely new set of challenges in the face of Delta Nove. Despite all of the questions of how to move on and ‘what comes next’, nothing could prevent any further the release of the band’s newest full-length album, Beyond — the proverbial phoenix rising out of the ashes of such an unforgiving hell storm. The passionate new album (the band’s eighth) was finally released, of course, on Dominic’s birthday, June 25th, 2021.
This 16-song album would most certainly make Dominic proud! The sounds, flows and grooves that the rest of the band was able to capture around Feedam’s drums is impeccable. You can tell that every aspect of this double-LP — from the lively horns to the funky and rhythmic bass, right down to Feedam’s tight and precise drums themselves — was performed and perfected by over two decades of playing together and crafting a sound like no other, exemplifying the ‘world-funk’ technique that Delta Nove is aiming for. Songs that range similar to a raucous Trombone Shorty live performance in New Orleans like “Monkey Funk”, which features world-class guest artist funk legend Fred Wesley (James Brown, Parliament Funkadelic) to a more vibey, mellow tone reminiscent of a 311 show in Monterey, like the soft and simple “P.C.H.”, really shows off the talent this band has and demonstrates exactly how lucky we are that they have chosen to share it with the world.
Seamlessly blending heavy funk, roots rock, reggae, Brazilian rhythms, afrobeat and improvised psychedelic explorations, the members of Delta Nove have simply crafted none other than a masterpiece with this new album. It is an ardent and intense reflection of what this band has gone through to get to this moment. Thankfully, Dominic was able to complete the basic tracking for Beyond before he became too ill to contribute, so his presence can be felt on all 16 songs. Playing in a way that can only be described as masterful, you can almost feel as if he knew that this project would be his lasting legacy and the final gift to his family — both personal and musical. The never-ending list of questions remains for Delta Nove, with the most glaring being ‘what lies beyond’? For now, the band just hopes that this new album will honor the memory of their beloved brother Dominic, keeping his spirit alive as proof of the eternal pursuit to always go Beyond.
Purchase or stream ‘Beyond’ album:
- Feet on the Ground
- Money Funk
- Business Before Pleather
- Sliding Backward
- Great Divide
- Big Sky
- You’re Not Alone
- Downside Up
- We Got Everything
- Watch out for Jonesie
- Say No More
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.