2018 has all the signs of being the break out year – so long deserved – by Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar. The group’s latest recording, Run to Me, was released April 27, 2018. Produced by Darcy Yates, the album is a massive step forward for both Martin and Delta Sugar exploring the full range of the vicissitudes of love: desire, betrayal and, at times, emotional and sexual satisfaction. The songs reflect remarkable growth on Martin’s part as a songwriter. The lyrics are incisive, the melodies are constantly arresting and the harmonies and arrangements call up the best of the soul sounds of Stax Records and such contemporary artists as Leon Bridges, Sharon Jones, and Lee Fields.
Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar’s debut release, 2015’s Send the Nightingale, was a stripped-down affair consisting of Martin, her two co-singers Sherie and Stacie and guitarist Mikey McCallum. For Run to Me, Martin elected to record her emotionally wrought material with an expanded band, augmenting the core of Delta Sugar’s gospel-infused harmonies with a full rhythm section, piano, organ and an ever-so-soulful horn section.
Send the Nightingale garnered four Maple Blues nominations in 2016, received regular radio play, topped the blues charts on Stingray radio and propelled the group onto the stages of all the major Canadian festivals and clubs coast to coast. Subsequent to the album’s release, Martin has been nominated three years in a row as Female Vocalist of the Year at the Maple Blues Awards. Continuing to build on the group’s steam rolling momentum, in the fall of 2017, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar were selected by a panel of blues experts to represent Toronto at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, where they made it to the semi-finals and turned heads.
Martin is a dynamic front woman with a stunning voice capable of summoning up tidal waves of spine-tingling emotion or delicately bringing out the nuances of a gut wrenching lyric in the next. A torrid force of nature she takes audiences to emotional peaks while leaving them stunned with her sheer pin-you-against-the-wall power.
The vocal alchemy of Delta Sugar is not the work of a single talent. In combination with what Martin likes to term her “co-vocalists,” Sherie Marshall and newest full time member Mwansa Mwansa, the vocal blend of Delta Sugar is pure, unadulterated gospel-tinged, neuron-tingling magic where the sum is even richer than the already soul-melting parts.