A last minute show for Downtown Brew, Rocco DeLuca will showcase his muscular mix of swampy blues and stomping rock tonight, Tuesday, April 13th, with opening act Travis Warren.
Coming across like a cross between Beck’s casual mastery of various musical idioms (minus the surrealistic sarcasm) and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion with a much stronger take on the music’s history, Rocco Deluca plays a decidedly modern take on traditional blues-rock. Born in Southern California in 1976, Deluca claims to have largely grown up on the R&B touring circuit, the son of a single father who was one of Bo Diddley’s backing guitarists. Exposed to the blues both on the tour bus and in family living room jam sessions, Deluca picked up the guitar at a young age, and eventually settled on the Dobro (a resonating metal-top guitar that was a key part of Delta blues in the age before amplification) as his primary instrument. After several years continuing the vagabond lifestyle of his childhood, Deluca settled back in Los Angeles and started a weekly residency at the Gypsy Lounge, a well-known blues and country bar in Orange County. The singer’s voice shifts from a ghostly Jack White/Jeff Buckley style to the more deliberate howling of Robert Plant and the Cult’s Ian Astbury. There’s a slight but consistent bluesy feel to this music that grounds it, in the same way as the White Stripes and Zeppelin reference the genre, but in a far less overt manner. The acoustic Dobro in the song brings an earthy quality that takes it back to the swamps.