The story behind The Mighty Delta Tones, according to guitarist and vocalist Tom Edwards, is the kind of story line that has roamed the Coachella Valley for years while solidifying the foundation of the current music scene we now enjoy. Edwards explains, “The band was formed by Scott in ‘96 and this incarnation has been together for about five years with various guitar players in and out.” The Coachella Valley blues band plays a full scope of blues from early standards to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Joining Edwards in its current formation are Scott Stone on lead vocals and harmonica, Rick Stevenson on bass and vocals, Mike Ruiz on guitar and vocals and Steve Maxfield drums and vocals.
The Mighty Delta Tones have performed at Tack Room Tavern at the Empire Polo Grounds approximately twice a month for the last five years. “They’ve provided us with a great venue to play our blues. They’ve accommodated us with everything. It’s our home stage and the best place to showcase us year round,” states Edwards. During their shows at Tack Room Tavern, the band provides an additional amplifier on stage for other blues enthusiasts to participate in their show. Edwards contends, “The blues offer a flexible environment because it’s the kind of music that you can play along based on the loose format. We have guest players just about every show.” As well as inviting other musicians to join them on stage, The Mighty Delta Tones raffle off guitars, harmonicas and drumsticks during shows. To date, they have raffled off 94 new guitars.
Edwards has been playing in the valley since 1990 and has been in several bands including Boetto. Maxfield has played drums professionally since he was 15. Stone is from Kansas and happens to be acquainted with members of the band Kansas. He was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame in 2010 as a member of Plain Jane. Stone currently enjoys his time at Music Proz in Indio, an all-purpose music store which includes the sale of instruments and the rental of an on-site recording studio. Ruiz is the brother of Congressman Raul Ruiz.
The Mighty Delta Tones incorporate their original songs within their performances. Edwards confirms that there is a distinct possibility that the band will release that material in the near future. They are enamored with the success of the Rhythm, Wine & Brews event at the Empire Polo Grounds and look forward to being considered for next year’s event. The band is performing this Saturday at Coachella Valley Weekly’s Awards Show and One Year Anniversary party held at the Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert. They are nominated for Best Blues Band.
Winding up our talk, Edwards reminds local music fans by exuding his knowledge, “It was a great scene 23 years ago. It ran hot and cold. I believe we’re currently on a hot cycle. There’s a lot of music out there and it should unite us all. We share a common thread; the love of music”
To learn more about The Mighty Delta Tones or contact them about upcoming shows, you can find them on Facebook.