THE MIDWAY DELTA is a Powerpop/Indie rock band out of San Francisco that started in August 2006 with Martin Schneider (Pollen, 23 aorta, Light Sleepers) on guitar and vocals and John Kontogianis (Jolly, Overwhelming Colorfast, Poor Bailey) on drums. The band formed shortly after the dissolution of Martin’s former band Light Sleepers and remained just John and Martin through the recording of their first record.
Holed up in the basement of the music store John managed in Antioch - close to the midway point of the body of water we Bay Area dwellers refer to simply as the Delta - they rehearsed and wrote 15 songs over the next seven months and headed into a South San Francisco recording studio with the 10 best that would become their debut album MORSE CODE OVER LAND LINES.
They solicited help on the final product from old friend Lenny Gill (Jolly, Overwhelming Colorfast, Bye Bye Blackbirds). After recording all the rhythm guitar, all the bass guitar and much of the lead guitar parts; Martin was thrilled to have Lenny take over lead guitar work on a few songs. As it turned out, his main gig as the drummer for Bye Bye Blackbirds the previous 3 years left him eager to strap on a guitar again. The resulting guitar work landed him an invite to join the band.
To play live and promote the record the band knew they needed the other half of their rhythm section but a year of Craigslist adds and try-outs with everyone from a recent divorcee who just bought his first bass to a guy who answered the add for a bass player by bringing his guitar, was proving to be less than fruitful. All the while Martin kept seeing an add for a bass player looking for a band citing influences like The Replacements, Son Volt, Tom Petty, Wilco, The Rolling Stones and The Plimsouls – in other words – a perfect fit. But this perfect bass player would not respond, what was wrong? After his fourth and final e-mail, Martin finally asked, “hey, you seem perfect for us, what’s the problem?” The response they got from Mark Ray (Small Change Romeos, Candypill) was he didn’t want to drive all the way the hell out to Antioch – free rehearsal space or not – but if the band would rehearse in San Francisco, he was in.
Flash forward to 2008, the band is now headquartered in San Francisco and putting the finishing touches on their second record SENDING OUT TENDRILS. It is their first as a full band and is due out in the Summer of 2009 on Ever Upward Records with notable contributing local artists Rich Avella (Snowmen, Light Sleepers, Nothing People), William Duke (Bye Bye Blackbirds), and Patrick Main (Jolly, Snowmen, Tarnation, Oranger).
Both MORSE CODE OVER LAND LINES and SENDING OUT TENDRILS travel well worn paths but with a new pair of shoes and manage to sew together 70s-era punk rock the likes of The Ramones & The Jam, 80s-era college rock influences The Replacements & REM, and some 60s British Invasion for good measure. If you’ve ever liked sunny harmonies, the way a Rickenbacker guitar sounds through an old Fender amplifier, choruses with hooks, and a Hammond organ run through a Leslie speaker cabinet you’ve found your new favorite band. Enjoy.