The Delphines arose from the remains of the all-female Bluebonnets, a blues outfit that counted among its members Kathy Valentine
of the Go-Go's
, Dominique Davalos
, Pinky Villandry, and Sherri McGhee
. When vocalist Villandry dropped out over disagreements concerning which career track the band should pursue, the remaining members tried to forge on. At one point they hired another vocalist, Shannon Moore
, and later performed simply as a three-woman band. When the Bluebonnets permanently shut down in 1994, Valentine
again became part of the Go-Go's
, while Davalos
headed to England. By the end of the year, however, the two women were in Los Angeles and pulling together the band that would become the Delphines
, with the addition of Paul Crowder
on drums. The group gave its first public performance early the following year in London.
It wasn't long before the Delphines were playing across the channel in Paris' Chesterfield Café. Simultaneously, members crafted new material to be included on their first EP. After their Paris gig, they headed to London and employed a publicist, who secured a deal with indie label Abstract Sounds for the release of the EP. On the strength of their initial success, bandmembers headed back to Los Angeles, where they worked on more songs that would enable them to expand the EP into a full-length CD. It was slow going, with finances being a major drawback. In the meantime, drummer Crowder had become a father and opted to leave the band to pursue a steadier job with a more reliable income. The Delphines added Clem Burke as their drummer to help record in the studio. Bluebonnets' drummer McGhee came back for a short time, but Joel Turrisi stepped in to take her place when she left. More recording followed.
Despite having Abstract waiting back in London, the Delphines took a shot at securing a label in the states. Following an appearance at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX, the band caught the attention of another indie label, the U.S.-based Fountainbleu. Differences among bandmates erupted, resulting in the exit of Turrisi. McGhee again came back to help out with live shows. Before 1996 was over, the Delphines had a full-length CD out on the U.S. market. Another former Go-Go, Gina Schock, was added to the lineup the following year. She became the group's fourth drummer. After Schock came aboard, the band's U.K. debut hit store shelves. The band returned to Austin and the South by Southwest Festival in 1998. The group continued to play in Los Angeles, but no major-label interest occurred. The Delphines kept busy, and during this period they were featured on a segment of the Howie Mandel Show, and several of the band's songs were featured in indie films.
Also in 1998, the band welcomed its fifth drummer, Hilary Jones. Over the next year, it looked as if the band might be approaching its end as Valentine began a tour with the Go-Go's, Jones took time off to perform with Robben Ford, and Davalos headed to Memphis, where she began working with the group Ida. Davalos came back by late fall of 1999, but Jones did not. Valentine and Davalos forged on as the Delphines, hiring Clem Burke to help on recordings. The duo of Valentine and Davalos later expanded to include yet another drummer, Kristy McInnis. ~ Linda Seida, Rovi