Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Delta Flyers Rootsy 16 Bars

The Delta Flyers are an acoustic duo of harmonica player Stevie DuPree and guitarist, Travis Stephenson that are backed by a small combo for the self-produced CD 16 Bars. While the duo claim to play a variety of blues based on the styles of blues found on the gulf coast states, this album is as much influenced by southern rock, bluegrass and country rock and might properly be be described as Americana.

The set opens with rollicking slide guitar from Stephenson on the resonator for “61 Highway Blues.” There is plenty of rough house harmonica to mix with the slide. The title track is an acoustic number whose titles refers to the bars on the singer's jail cell door with perhaps a bit of Allman Brothers inspiration. Frenzied slide is heard on Mentone, Alabama, which one can easily imagine being done as a bluegrass number with the spirited tempo heard here.

Baby’s So Fine is a shuffle with nicely played slide and harmonica but could do without the backing vocal refrains. Sunflower River Rag shows their country roots (sort of like the group Alabama), while Poison Took My Baby, is a relaxed rocker about how whiskey took the singer’s baby away. Dockery Farm, has a subject that should be the basis for a blues song, but again is performed more in an roots music vein. Fishin’ Little Mama is a rocker with a blues core, and followed by the brisk Baby Jane, where they sing about having to run and working so hard and now its time for fun. The closing I Got To Testify, has a skiffle band-jug band flavor that is nicely played and an appealing gravelly vocal.

The Delta Flyers’ 16 Bars is quite a fun recording that will likely have the most immediate appeal to fans of Americana and roots, but well worth checking out by others.

This album was released in 2010, I am not sure when I received a review copy from a publicist, but this review was written a few months ago.

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