Dehlia Low and Matt Andersen review   Leave a comment

In my Roots Music column of two weeks ago, I featured the recent album from Maritimes Bluesman Matt Andersen and the several months old release from southern alt-grass outfit Dehlia Low. The latter album has been in and out of my listening for months and I somehow missed writing about it in a more timely manner.

Matt Andersen Coal Mining Blues Busted Flat Records

Matt Andersen, the larger than life blues singer and guitarist from New Brunswick, has released the album that we’ve known he’s had in him.

Featuring a strong, focused sound- without doubt influenced by producer Colin Linden- Coal Mining Blues is a more thoughtfully executed project than some of
Andersen’s earlier releases, albums that sometimes suffered from too much flash
and showmanship. As a result, the best songs- including originals “Fired Up,” “I Work Hard for the Luxury,” “Home Sweet Home” (featuring Garth Hudson), and the title track- are more complete in their execution, but are not dramatically superior to the songs that
‘fill-out’ the disc.

Start to finish, this is a very strong roots album. Charlie Rich’s “Feel Like
Going Home” brings the album to a powerful yet restrained close, revealing
Andersen’s growing maturity as a singer and artist. (

Dehlia Low Ravens & Crows Rebel Records

In a year that has revealed an incredible wealth of bluegrass, acoustiblue, and jamgrass recordings from youthful performers- among them Bearfoot, 23 String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, April Verch, and Sierra Hull- the strongest of the bunch may belong to North
Carolina’s Dehlia Low.

Fronted by the beautifully-voiced Anya Hinkle, this five-piece’s sound has been described as Appalachiagrassicana and that about covers it.

With roots in bluegrass and mountain music, this smooth-sounding outfit doesn’t just sing about little cabins, faithlessness, and Glory; their approach blends acoustic country and bluegrass into a fresh-sounding, banjo-less amalgam that is bright and firm, revealing a mettle that is as impressive as it is non-traditional. (



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