Monday, November 22, 2010

The Delta Flyers "Sixteen Bars"

The Delta Flyers are an awesome blues force. Let me tell you, if you like that sweet bluesy music made by Canned Heat back in the 60s you will love this disc. This is a great cd, and a great band. The music is built around the vocals and harmonica work of Steve DuPree and the guitar work of Travis Stephenson. The songs were all written either by DuPree or by DuPree/Stephenson. The Delta Flyers encompass an impressive range of rural blues and country styles supported by Jack Saunders (bass, percussion and backing vocals), Rick Richards (drums), Rich DelGrosso (mandolin) and Sister Tommie Lee Bradley (backing vocals). Things kick off with "61 Highway Blues," an electric slide guitar shuffle, then the jaunty country two-step beat of "Sixteen Bars," which is not about gin mills or the length of a blues progression but the number of bars in a jail cell door. "Mentone, Alabama" is a road trip song done up with joy and tight bluegrass-style harmony vocals. Things stay in a high energy mood thru "Baby's So Fine," a superb boogie shuffle. Then comes the best song on the cd, and a strong candidate for Bruce's song of the year, "Sunflower River Rag." By itself worth the cost of the whole disc! It sounds like it could be by the Marshall Tucker Band or the Pure Prairie League or the Doobie Brothers or even Alabama but it's better than all those others! DuPree's vocals and Stephenson's guitar ride over the rhythm, and when the chorus comes in with Sister Tommie Lee it blows my head clean off. I had to listen to it three or four times in a row, just to enjoy it again and again. Next comes "Poison Took My Baby," a cautionary tale about drug abuse. "Dockery Farm" pays tribute to that famous Delta plantation with a hypnotic, twangy hill country groove that will not quit. "Fishin' Little Mama" is a Chicago-style blues shuffle, and "Baby Jane" is another country two-step featuring great drumming by Richards. Then things close out with "I Got To Testify," a nice gospel-style song featuring great work by Rich DelGrosso on mandolin and backing vocals by The Fabulous Inebriators.

I love this one. A very strong release. This one will be released on January 4th on Soulbilly Records. You can buy it at the band's website,

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