Muscians play during the Delta Blue Open Mic Blues Jam on Jan. 9.
With the smell of barbecue in the air, fall off the bone smokey ribs on your plate and the smooth bass and drums pumping in your ears: it’s a melody for the senses. This is Wednesday night at Delta Blue.
The Delta Blue, 2520 Main Street, was born from a style straight from the Mississipi Delta. It has brought some “Southern Hospitality” to the Adirondacks and hosts one of the only year-round venues for music in Lake Placid.
The restaurant opened its doors under its new name on Memorial Day 2012 after operating under the name Northern Exposure for seven years.
Restaurant owner Garrick Smith said Northern Exposure offered the “classic Adirondack fair” of steaks and seafood.
“It was seven years with nothing to talk about and nothing to share,” Smith said. “There is no shortage of Adirondack themed restaurants in the area.”
After varying degrees of change to the menu and successes at Northern Exposure, Smith said he decided it was time to go back to a concept he and now head chef Joe White, aka “Smokey Joe” had devised over 5 years ago and that was to have a soulful and southern themed restaurant.
From the first thing on the menu, the fried gator tail with smokin’ Joes special sauce, to the last item, fried okra, the menu sets itself apart with a lot of different foods in between. The smell of smoked barbecue also travels from the restaurant as the meat is smoked on the roof of the North Woods Inn. Kitchen Manager Brianna Robison said the smell attracts the interest of people walking by.
“People come in from the street all the time asking where the smell is coming from and we’re happy to show them,” Robison said.
Not only do the flavors set it apart from the downtown Adirondack-fare but it carries its own sounds. The restaurant hosts live music three days a week, including a Wednesday open mic night.
“This is the place to be on Wednesday nights,” Smith said. “Our stage has hosted grammy winning artists and amazing musicians who walk in from the street and blow us away.”
Through 57 blues nights, Smith said the stage at the Delta Blue has brought together dozens of bands.
“We have our house musicians, so whatever instrument you play we have people who can back you up,” Smith said. “But it’s been incredible to see musicians come together on that stage, we don’t have to look far to book our weekend acts.”
On Jan. 9, as 8 p.m. grew closer, the restaurant started filling up. For almost every person walking in the door, Smith had a story and recognized their talents.
Looking back, Smith recalled his own experience on the stage when he sang a Beatles tune.
“Your listening so intently and suddenly everything else vanishes, every one is watching and your guitarist is working down the beat, it’s the most incredible way to listen to the music,” Smith said.
Smith said the Delta Blue has hosted musicians playing everything from blues, rock and roll, blue grass, to percussionists. Artists include grammy nominated acts.
The music scene is one of the only consistent music venues in the Lake Placid area, Smith said, hosting music all year round. Smith said the music styles are all over the place.
“We’re really trying to focus on great music instead of targeting a specific genre,” Smith said.
Delta Blue gets its name from the song Walking in Memphis, and the line one of the earliest styles of blues music, originating in the Mississippi Delta.