Flett - Mississippi Sea
Out of the Past LLC
Run Time: 50:57
Buddy Flett is a storyteller. Laboring on as a
regional sensation for over 36 years, Flett’s stock rose in the
international market last year with the huge success of Kenny Wayne
Sheperd’s Ten Days Out: Blues From the Backroads album in
which he and Kenny played the AAA-radio success “Honky Tonk.”
Thriving on this new found popularity, Flett produced this CD with
Steve Howell and what we get is a talking book of musical influence
from the South.
Flett throughout the 12 tracks (9 of which are
Flett’s own) of this disc blends country & western, country blues,
ragtime, blues-rock, and singer-songwriter-like storytelling of how
the South was and is for him throughout his life. Kenny Wayne
Shepherd makes a guest appearance on the highly touted Flett tune “I
Hear Ya Callin’” but for the most part the arrangements are laid
bare with just Flett and some minor accompaniment.
The first track “Baby’s Back In Town” blurs the
lines between country & western and country blues, showing that
indeed a bluesman taught Hank Williams Sr. and probably Jimmy
Rogers how to play guitar and sing songs about everyday people and
their troubles. “Done Somebody Wrong” is Flett’s interpretation of
another slide guitar giant; Elmore James and he does it with ease
without bordering on mimicry. On the aforementioned, “I Hear Ya’
Callin’” Flett’s vocals soar over the top of an acoustic-fied Kenny
Wayne Shepherd solo. Flett’s love for Texas-style blues is
demonstrated perfectly on the lone acoustic reworking of Freddie
King’s “Hideaway.” The autobiographical album title track and
“Mama’s Kitchen” are obvious very intimate personal looks into
Flett’s own life and don’t sound dull or too “folky” not to please a
blues crowd. The acoustic blues-rock of “Run To the Levee” is a
personal favorite and shows that when blues-rock is done right, it
can make even a die-hard traditionalist perk up their ears and enjoy
themselves. Flett also rollicks through Leadbelly’s “Linin’ Track”
and doesn’t give the over-produced feel that Aerosmith’s reworking
“Hangman’s Jury” gave to the song, but instead traces back to the
roots of the song and arranges it from there. Flett doesn’t try to
be something he’s not or stray from his roots, either.
Flett’s continued touring and working with
Shepherd along with the strong songwriting and musicianship that
goes along with playing anything for 36 years has paid off for Flett
and as the comfort level and confidence displayed here, he doesn’t
make it sound like its success that’s come too late.
Visit Buddy Flett on MySpace or visit him at
Steve Howell’s website at:
http://www.stevehowell.ws/buddy-flett.cfm. The CD is available from
major music outlets.
Reviewer Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.