The Original Delta Fireballs
Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine
By ROGER WHITE April/May 2007
The Original Delta Fireballs are a throw back to old time blues, consisting of Geneva Red on vocals and harmonica and Jackie "5 & Dime" Wolworth playing guitar and drums or banjo and drums. Their day job has been working as Geneva Red and the Roadsters for the last ten years. Inspired by the recordings of Dr. Ross and Elmon Mickle, Big Walter Horton and Joe Hill Louis, they formed the Original Delta Fireballs to continue this blues tradition.
Geneva Red is one of the top female "blues harp" players on the scene today. She's had an endorsement contract with the Hohner Harmonica company since 1998, performed at the Memorial Tribute to Junior Wells at Rosa's and has graced the cover of Big City Blues at Rice Miller's (Sonny Boy Williamson II) grave in Tutwiler, Mississippi with Charlie Musslewhite, Paul Oscher, Billy Gibson and Big George Brock.
Guitarist Jack Wolworth, a.k.a. Jackie 5 & Dime, comes at the blues from a different angle. For his 13th birthday Jack received a cheap electric guitar that he plugged into an old TV as his first amplifier. At the time it was jazz that drew his interest. He's worked in orchestras and pit bands, is an award winning orchestrator and arranger, and was nominated for an Arts Midwest Jazz Masters Award. Jack created and produced a 16 part radio series called "Jazz Works" and served as artistic and entertainment director for the Jazz Festival in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. In 1996 Jack produced a recording session for Geneva Red, and there was no turning back. He took on the persona of Jackie 5 & Dime, helped Red start the Roadsters and has been lost in the blues ever since.
"Come On With It - Live" was recorded in June 2006 as part of a "Two Reds are Better Than One" concert. Red and Jackie work the crowd with a set of classic blues, sounding a lot fuller than just a duo. Jackie sits behind the drums and plays guitar while Red steps out front on harmonica with "I've Had My Fun" and "Jelly Roll King". For "Down in the Bottom, " Jackie pulls out his banjo to give it some real bottom. Little Walter's "Blue And Lonesome" gives both players real time to shine. Jackie's national steel guitar solo sets the stage for Red's vocals, and when her harp comes in halfway through the song, it has that extra edge to set it off. They "Bring it On Home" with the audience providing the rhythm and Red sliding that harmonica in mouth like a cigar to play her solo and clap along at the same time, an old trick she acknowledges to Sonny Boy Williamson.
The steel guitar comes back out for some slide work on "St. Louis Blues". They start getting funky with "Born Under a Bad Sign" as Red wanders out into the audience for her solo. The real highlight of the CD isn't a classic blues song like the rest of the recording, but a classic jazz ballad from Billie Holiday. The moaning restrained harmonica and the gentle guitar set the stage for Miss Geneva Red to shine on this change of pace. They show there's always more to the music then you hear at first, their blues makes you look a little deeper.
This pair has taken the humble duo format and revitalized it. Both players have taken on the persona of classic blues characters with the names Geneva Red and Jackie 5 & Dime, in the process they have become legends on their own stage. Like most things in the blues, it ain't what you got, it's what you do with it.
Soul Bag Magazine
By ANDRE HOBUS Belgium June 2007
translated by Andre Hobus
Let us start first with the strong points of this courageous disc. Energetic harmonicist - singer of Wisconsin, Geneva Red hitherto is the author of three CDs combining tradition and modernity. This time she opted for an uncommon formula: the one-man band with its customary guitarist, Jackie "5 & Dime" Wolworth, he doubles on the drums, like Joe Hill Louis, Dr. Ross and another Elmon Mickle who have inspired them. It is overall a success due principally to the knowledge and expertise of Red, who can reinterpret with vigor and good taste Frank Frost, Walter Horton, Sonny Boy Williamson II (harmonica in the mouth no hands included) and other historical figures of country and urban blues. Also surprisingly, even a difficult title by Billie Holiday does well, while Albert King's "floats", sometimes in her "Scratch My Back " style. Lastly, an ambiguous surprise: the sound. You believe it to be a bootleg worthy of the pirated recordings of the heroic years when cassette machines collected it all: cavernous reverberation of the hall and inopportune interventions of the enthusiastic public. Today that bothers me. In any case, one thing is sure: this duet would raise the same enthusiastic reactions with our audiences over here; why do we wait to invite them?
She's Red, she's blue, she's blowing strong
Copyright © 2007 Ourkives Music