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The Delta Flyers - Sixteen Bars

Soulbilly Records


Houston’s Stevie Dupree’s gruff vocals and harmonica combined with partner Travis Stephenson’s acoustic and electric guitar skills take us on a country blues journey that at times skirts Heehaw territory, but not closely enough to bring out the corn-ball factor. Huffing and puffing harmonicas, sliding guitars, mandolin and porchboard stomping all create an air of down-home blues good times. A heapin’ helping of all band originals are lent blues authenticity by the deft musical skills of the players. Rich Delgrosso supplies his able mandolin, and drums and occasional background vocals spruce up this mostly acoustic blues-hoedown.

The obligatory “mean old highway’ tune sounds refreshed as it is pushed along with electric slide and mandolin in “61 Highway Blues”. The bars referred to in “Sixteen Bars” are the type found in the doors of a jail cell. This tale of doom and gloom is recounted over an upbeat county-blues musical romp. Elmore James-style resophonic acoustic slide and tambourine propel another road saga courtesy of the good-time “Mentone, Alabama”. Dupree hauls out his ample harmonica chops for the foot-stomper “Baby’s So Fine”. The atmospheric harp-resophonic duet of “Sunflower River Rag” has the listener lolled into a blues daydream you don’t want to be brought out of. A modern-day theme of drugs and booze is carried in the folk blues of “Poison Took My Baby” that wouldn’t be out of place on Hootenanny in days gone by. “Dockery Farm” pays tribute to the famous plantation as a twangy hill-country blues. Travis’ Duane Allman-toned electric slide battles it out with harp on the jaunty “Fishin’ Little Mama”. Rick Richards’ locomotive drumming chugs along with Sonny Terry harp on the sprightly romp of “Baby Jane”. The group vocals of The Fabulous Inebriators invoke a drunken gathering of church faithful in the boozey-woozey “I Got To Testify”.

It’s comforting to know that the blues still has a feel-good place to go to, while still supplying first-rate musicianship. Even the few serious subjects touched on here are given an upbeat treatment. Music like this will never reach the masses, but for those that seek the rewards, there is a toe-tapping country-blues jam in store for the takin’. I’ll be moseying along……..Now where is my ol’ hound dog?

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog’s Doghouse at

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