Bob, Joey and Steve Delgado helped make L.A. rock history before immersing themselves in the blues
San Gabriel Valley veterans the Delgado Brothers, named best band at this year’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis, return to Harvelle’s Friday night for a pre-New Year’s Eve celebration.
Bassist Bob Delgado, guitarist Joey Delgado and drummer Steve Delgado were the subject — along with three other brothers — of a 2013 documentary, “In Time,” that tracked the evolution of their “Latin blues” from their childhood and teen years.
Given that older brothers Danny and Eddie played in Thee Exotics and Thee Ambertones, and the younger Delgados were performing at East L.A. dances and union halls in the 1960s and ’70s, alongside the influential likes of Thee Midniters and Cannibal & the Headhunters, the Delgados — not unlike their high school chums who went on to play as Los Lobos — embody the development of L.A. rock ‘n’ roll.
By the end of the 1970s they had stopped playing together, separated by creative differences and burnout. Bob became passionately immersed in the blues — Peter Green, B.B. King, Freddie King, Howlin Wolf — so in 1984 he tapped Joey and Steve for a fresh iteration of the family band.
Now accompanied by longtime friend and Hammond B3 organist David “B” Kelley, they’ve deepened and diversified their sound over the course of four albums, meshing blues roots with rock, soul, Latin grooves and Joey’s fierce fretwork. The musicianship and galvanizing spirit of songs like “No Regrets,” “Mama’s Crying” and the new “Circle of Friends” makes them consistently compelling onstage; and with a still-unnamed release coming in the spring, they’ll be giving more new tunes a test spin on Friday.
— Bliss Bowen
The Delgado Brothers return to Harvelle’s (1432 4th St., Santa Monica) at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30. Cover is $15. 21+. Call (310) 395-1676 for venue info or visit delgadobrothers.com.