Delta Maid is a 25 year old Liverpudlian singer from Wavertree in South Liverpool. Her name is actually Katie Foulkes. However, people started calling her Delta, and according to her, it was easier so she went with it.
|Hometown||Wavertree, South Liverpool|
|Albums||Outside Looking In (2011)|
|Family|| A Mother and Father
Delta’s seafaring family have long had connections to America. Her great grandfather was a stoker who used to tell Delta’s family stories of working on the docks in prohibition era New York. Like Delta’s parents, he would also bring rare roots records back home to Liverpool.
She got a degree in biology and then did 18 months of training to be a vascular scientist, diagnosing vascular diseases using ultrasound. However, halfway through, she spotted her publishing company and decided to take up music.
Early Music Career Edit
Delta’s love of the American roots music began when she was a child. She listened mainly to country and modern blues included in her parents' record collection. Some of these artists included Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and BB King. However, Delta’s own personal musical discovery was kick started by a copy of country blues queen Rory Block’s ‘Best Blues and Originals’ which her parents bought back with them after a trip to New York.
Listening to the record non-stop for two weeks during a holiday in Ireland, the 13 year old Delta’s ears had been opened to early blues and there was no turning back. She said, “I was in awe… I became fascinated by the style of play, the whole feeling of it. It was at this point that I began actively searching for the history and legends that were behind delta blues. After hearing the likes of Son House, Skip James, Bessie Smith and Robert Johnson for the first time I dived head first into a world that has since become a part of my own makeup.”
Delta used to have piano lessons when she was young, but she hated practicing, so her mother said she would stop paying for them. Instead, she learned songs she picked up from the radio. She began learning the guitar at around 17 or 18. According to her, "my brother plays about ten times better than I do so he plays with me on stage as well."
She had always wanted to be a singer, but never thought it would happen for her. People told her to go on the X-Factor, but she refused to. According to her, "I wanted to be me; The X-Factor just molds people."
She began singing blues covers and her first gig was a charity show arranged by her mother.
Delta was initially accompanied on guitar by her brother. However, an injury meant he could no longer play alongside her. Disappointed but intent on performing, Delta - who could already strum a few chords - taught herself to play guitar. A left-hander, she developed her own distinctive way of playing by trying to replicate what she’d heard on her Son House and Leadbelly records. “People say it’s a weird finger picking style that not many people do, but it’s just an amalgamation of what I’ve picked up on – it’s dead natural to me!”
Soon, she began penning her own material, and went on to write a song with Ed Harcourt early on in her music career which was accompanied by a Nick Knight video. However, Delta is now a one woman songwriting operation.
“I am a solo writer and my whole dream is to have an album written exclusively by me,” she states. “That was the dream from day one.” A religiously acoustic performer, Delta is already making a name for herself in folk, blues and alternate country circles, supporting the likes of Turin Brakes, Retribution Gospel Choir and Megafaun, with her sublime Mersey delta sound.
Songwriting Inspiration Edit
The main stopping point for immigrants is travelling to America, and the idea of looking west to the US for inspiration, rather than east to Europe has long defined Liverpool. Delta is no exception.
Drawing parallels between the down home lyrics of delta blues and with her own upbringing in Liverpool, Delta’s life isn’t very far removed from the Mississippi-based music that has inspired her.
“There’s something really honest about it,” explains Delta. “It’s not convoluted in any way. I feel that’s what Liverpool’s got in common with delta blues, because there’s a lot of honesty there - we tend to wear our hearts on our sleeves. A lot of the language, believe it or not, is quite similar.”
Even though she’s never been to the Deep South in a geographical sense, Delta has, in a way, hitchhiked her way cross-country, as bits of inspiration from Louisiana, Alabama, Nashville, and Memphis are found in her music.
Personal Life Edit
Delta’s brother has now recovered from his injuries and is currently in the studio with her as she records her debut album in Liverpool.
Songs and Albums Edit
Delta Maid co-wrote the song "Tornado" alongside Natalie Hemby, which was a single for the band "Little Big Town."
Outside Looking in: Edit
Her debut album, "Outside Looking in," was completed April 2011 and was co-produced with Chris Taylor. It was recorded by Geffen Records in her hometown's famous Parr St. Studio, and featured the following 13 songs:
- Broken Branches
- Spend a Little Time
- Running on Empty
- All I Dreamed
- Outside Looking in
- Of My Own
- Picking Up the Pieces
- When Love Grows Cold
- Dance With My Broken Heart
- Any Way I Want To
- Back the Last Horse
- The Changes Made
The Decoy Bride Soundtrack: Edit
Delta's song "Spend a Little Time," was also featured in the 2011 movie "The Decoy Bride." Another song of hers featured in the movie was a song co-written with Ed Harcourt entitled "Make Up Your Mind."