Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review: Songster Buddy Flett throws down an intense new album: "Rough Edges"

Buddy Flett: "Rough Edges" CD by trudeau
Buddy Flett: "Rough Edges" CD, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

A moaner, a shouter, a storyteller, a string slinger: that's Buddy Flett on his second solo song collection, "Rough Edges." Not a servile imitator of Delta blues musicians, yet a bluesman by the emotion in his stark singing and playing, singer-songwriter Flett has a distinct personality, a package of skills and traits that we call a voice.

I have a strong feeling that erstwhile blues singer Jack White would respect and dig Flett.

Flett's voice reminds me of an armadillo who's twisting and turning in his burrow, trying to get comfortable and get some shut eye. The textures in his singing are being contorted constantly; Flett and his throat box do not find rest easily.

Nothing's fancy about Flett. Chrome slide on an old Gibson, straight through a small Fender amp. He also pumps a kick drum to mark time and add a simple bottom to his solo show. The sound is raw as a bleeding steak.

If you caught him in the 80's playing jazzy lines on a red ES-335 in the successful regional rock and blues band called A Train you would have seen a different phase of his life. Today he has dropped self-conscious coolness for evocation of his grief. And your grief, too.

My favorite cuts are "Third house on the left," "Dance for me," and "Nothing easy." It should be noted that Flett writes most of his songs and has won success by writing songs with friend David Egan. Their songs have been recorded by John Mayall, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Percy Sledge and Tab Benoit.

Flett closes the album with a Lead Belly tune, "Bring me a li'l water, Sylvie." There are a lot of similarities between the 2 men, both raised in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Huddie Ledbetter, aka Lead Belly, was more than a bluesman. He was a songster, or a man who could do it all. So is the latter day Caddo basher and slasher who's made "Rough Edges," Buddy Flett.

Highly recommended.

Bruce Flett Productions 318 865 9006
318 773 3034 blucebird@gmail.com

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