11 December 2014


Delta Bound is a great haunting song: it descends through semitones, with a fair sprinkling of minor and diminished chords. It is a 32-bar tune, with the familiar  a - a  -  b  -  a   structure.

Those of us who are fans of Tuba Skinny (i.e. almost the entire population of the world) have been introduced to it through the singing of Erika Lewis. It was on Tuba Skinny's CD entitled Rag Band - released in 2012.

However, it seems the song dates from as long ago as 1934. It was composed by Alex Hill, who was a jazz pianist in Chicago during the 1920s. Although he worked with many of the 'big names', it is not surprising if you have never heard of Alex Hill. The poor chap lived only to the age of 30. 

Alex Hill

On YouTube there is a video of Erika singing this song with Tuba Skinny in its early days. View it by clicking here.

Erika sings Delta Bound in the key of Bb and it goes something like this:

However (typical of Tuba Skinny) the band usually plays a first chorus in the key of F before Erika takes over. The Band also reverts to F to round off the performance.
Erika Lewis