Singer-songwriter Johnny Delaware’s album, Secret Wave, debuted yesterday on iTunes. Photographs (2) courtesy of the artist
October 2, 2013
Birth of a Music Salesman
Johnny Delaware finds his indie-folk-rock rhythm in Charleston
written by Stanfield Gray
“I used to travel around the United States like a salesman, looking for the perfect city to record and write music in,” says singer-songwriter Johnny Delaware, who has bounced from South Dakota to Albuquerque to Austin and now Charleston. The self-described “indie folk, indie rock, palm-tree-in-a-desert” style singer says the search led him to Holy City producer Wolfgang Zimmerman, while a fortuitous collision between a falling tree and Delaware’s car provided the insurance cash to purchase a cheaper van for the drive to Charleston and to pay for studio recording time. “It was crazy, man, no other tree fell down from that Texas storm,” he says.
Released on October 1, Delaware’s debut album, Secret Wave, holds its own in a vibrant Charleston music scene, offering a sound that veers from the crooning, vintage-inspired bombast of The Walkmen to the self-reflective new folk of M. Ward.
Secret Wave has been a great experience, he notes, not only recording-wise, but existentially as well. “I’d never visited the South, so with no expectations, my mind was blown into the ocean somewhere off of Murray Boulevard the night I arrived,” he says. “I look up to Charleston not only as a place to make music, but as a personal sanctuary.”
Wrong turns in South Dakota, Albuquerque, and Austin aside, the salesman has arrived.