Dressed in a man’s checkered shirt tied at the waist, Erin Berry’s outfit could have been inspired by Rosie the Riveter. But the choice surely wasn’t that conscious. At this point, Berry’s passion for the fashion era has fused with not only her music, but her day-to-day life. It’s an energy that comes bubbling out of her while fronting her four-piece swing/jazz/rockabilly band, Delco Nightingale.
“We’re in kind of a weird limbo at times. Jazz trios don’t like us because we’re too raucous, and we’re maybe a little refined for a punk show,” she explains. “I like our stuff cause it’s not like anything that’s out there, but it can be hard to book us.”
Delco’s art is interpretation. On classic songs — such as “Temptation,” “When I Get Low I Get High” and “Jezebel” — the band spends countless hours arranging and experimenting with the song structures to find their own voice within the tunes.
In the current overzealous copyright culture, that can be a costly craft.
“We’ve been denied permission to create a ‘derivative work,’ and sometimes they go a step further and write a cease and desist letter,” explains Berry. “It’s frustrating, but we’re always trying to do this the right way.”