Bosco Delrey is somewhat of an onstage enigma. Saturday night at La Zona Rosa, he opened for Brazilian electro rockers Cansei de Ser Sexy and noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells with a set that jumped between reverb-drenched rockabilly and blues-heavy psych.
That’s impressive considering the Memphis transplant is one of the newest additions to the Mad Decent roster, a label that mostly includes club bangers such as Crookers, Blaqstarr and Rusko.
Essentially a one-man band, Delrey is at least somewhat aware of how difficult it can be to capture an audience’s attention. “This isn’t open-mic night just because it’s one guy up here, you know,” he told the crowd after apologizing for the basic lighting setup on stage.
But Delrey’s set was gratifying, to say the least. He has Julian Casablancas’ look and swagger, Memphis soul vocals and an impressive list of sonic influences: rockabilly, Chess Records-type blues, dancehall beats and even My Bloody Valentine-style shoegazing. Think King Curtis’ music drenched in spacey reverb or Alan Vega’s “Jukebox Babe” with a drum machine.
“I like music that didn’t just come from nowhere; I like traditional music, you know? Music with really strong roots,” Delrey told the Texan after his set. “Especially blues music, stuff like Son House, Buddy Guy, Chuck Berry — but mostly acoustic blues.”
Delrey said he’ll be going on the next leg of his tour completely alone — “just me and my car and that’s it. I’m totally alone,” he said.
Delrey’s debut album, Everybody Wah, drops tomorrow on Mad Decent and Downtown records.