In an industry full of unwarranted nicknames, the Amazing Delores comes by hers honestly. Mudlick, WV, native Delores Boyd was a former model and proprietor of a "beauty and charm school" before deciding to take up a musical career well past 40. Never one to half-step, she debuted doing a version of "House of the Rising Sun" -- while jumping up and down on a table at an open mic night -- and soon became a fixture in the clubs of the state capital, Charleston, in the late '80s. Impossible to miss in her usual getup of gold lamé capris, leopard print tops, and massive beehive hairdo, and given to stream-of-consciousness ramblings about everything from God and the Devil to race relations, Delores was also blessed with pipes as unforgettable as her wardrobe and lyrics. Befriended by guitaristMichael Lipton, she became the subject of a PBS-TV documentary created by state filmmaker Jacob Young and eventually signed with Upstart Records. Any doubts that her manic live performances could be captured in the studio were dispelled by Stop Messin' With My Mind, released in the fall of 1994. Produced by Lipton, who also wrote most of the music with bassist Stan Lynch, the album offered a powerhouse backdrop of country, old-time rock & roll, and gospel for Delores' inimitable musings. From the first cut, the pounding "Rats in My Trailer," to the finale, a towering cover of "Stand By Me," Delores belted out her beliefs in a hair-raising voice absolutely determined to get its hearing. Charleston officials marked the release by declaring an official Amazing Delores Day, but promoting the album proved problematic. Booked as the musical guest on the Jon Stewart Show, Delores decided at the last minute she didn't want to fly to New York, leaving her backing band stranded in the studio with Stewart. As she wrestled with her religious convictions, there have been periods since that time when Delores has faded from the music scene. But in recent years, she's returned to her original stomping grounds, turning up occasionally for a set at Charleston's Empty Glass with the Ants behind her. And while there haven't been any new recordings, Delores can still create memorable musical moments; she joined Brit legend Kevin Coyne on-stage in 2000 for a mind-blowing duet of "Stand By Me" that proved she hasn't lost an iota of her otherworldly appeal.
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