September 04, 2013

Celebrating And Sending Up That "Sacred Day"

(click for larger version)
It starts with music reminiscent of a spaghetti western. In his best Johnny Cash voice, Joe Delia sings,

"after one hundred days of summer had faded into the mist

the ritual would always be the same

a Sacred day would finally come

and the villagers would raise

their pitchforks and their fists

and with reverence call it by its name."

Its name, and the song's moniker, is "Tumbleweed Tuesday."

Delia, a part time Montauk resident and award winning songwriter, penned an homage to that day after Labor Day beleaguered locals, exhausted by the crowds, the work and the stress of "the season," long for. The song is already starting to go viral on YouTube and Facebook, Joe's wife, partner, and back up singer PJ Delia reported.

Tumbleweed Tuesday was christened decades ago, when the day after Labor Day saw such a stark contrast to the crowds of summer, folks joked you could see tumbleweeds bouncing across Main Street in East Hampton. With more and more visitors purchasing second homes and staying out here longer, one local joked "It's more like Tumbleweed February now."

Still, the post Labor Day days pose a measure of relief from summer's drama. "Every summer is different, every one has a different vibe," Delia, who's been a loyal Montauk visitor for over 20 years, not to mention husband of a Montauk girl, noted. This summer's been one for the books, he pointed out, quoting something he overheard.

"Tumbleweed Tuesday" sums it up:

"There's been hipsters and posers

and rainouts and bailouts

and snooky's and guido's galore

and wherever I walk

it feels like old Montauk

turned into the New Jersey shore!"

Many listeners can relate to Delia's "offbeat, slightly cynical and somewhat humorous" take on the summer of 2013, as Facebook comments attest. That's no surprise, since Delia develops his ideas from life experience – "I draw from things that actually happened, then the song tends to write itself."

"I thought the whole idea of Tumbleweed Tuesday was a funny concept," he explained. As he started writing the song last month, he realized he needed to do it quickly, before the actual day arrived. Delia worked on a portion of the song at his studio in upstate New York.

Back on the island, he completed the vocals and mixing at Mick Hargreaves' studio in Southampton. Hargreaves is a member of Delia's band Thieves. Delia called PJ getting her Tammy Wynette voice on for the chorus, not to mention rocking a droll Lovey Howell imitation for concluding tag lines, "key" to the production of the song. "It was such a joy and a riot to do," he enthused.

"Tumbleweed Tuesday" isn't Delia's first homage to the Lighthouse District. His song, "Under the Montauk Moon," is a favorite with fans who came out to enjoy Delia and Thieves' special style that's a mash up of surfer music, blues, and rock and roll at venues all over the hamlet this summer. And many of those fans came out to shows sans fedoras.


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