Kirk Fletcher, Burning Blues, 2016
First confession is that I am not really very much into blues. Blues rock yes, especially when it rock’s hard, but for me a lot of blues operates with limited musical vocabulary. Second confession is that strictly speaking, this is not a new release, it is a European re-release of an album already released in 2014 in the USA.
But now on to Kirk Fletcher and his Live at the Baked Potato album. When Joe Bonamassa calls you one of the best blues guitarists on the planet, there is no denying that you have something going for ya. Honing his skills with The Fabulous Thunderbirds and touring with the likes of Larry Carlton, Robben Ford and Michael Landau is more proof that the man can play.
So while listening to the album, I noticed a few things. Yes, Fletcher is a player with great skill and tone. And still manages to care more about feel than technique, so I bet he flashes that front cover smile a lot when he plays. Second is that there is a lot of extended soloing, not only from him but also from Jeff Babko on organ and rhodes. The rhythm section of Lemar Carter on drums and Calvin Turner or Travis Carlton on bass hold the music together with tight grooves. And while I think the bass could have been a little more prominent in the mix, I really liked the drum sound, very natural. Oh, and last but not least, I think the blues is stretched a bit here, with influences from fusion and soul and a bit of funk. Which makes a tasty dish.
I am sure that people into blues will dig this, and as it is available from today, you know what to do!