Review: The Delta Flyers – Sixteen Bars
Posted on: Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011
THE DELTA FLYERS
Here’s an enjoyable 10-romp of original songs from The Delta Flyers – featuring Houston, Texas-born singer and harmonica player, Steve DuPree, with his ‘partner-in-crime’ being impressive guitarist Travis Stephenson, who co-wrote seven of the songs with DuPree. A varied collection – the band dip into some Mississippi country styles, calling off in Chicago and New Orleans.
Making up The Delta Flyers are Jack Saunders (bass, guitar, harmony vocals), Rick Richards (drums), Rich DelGrosso (mandolin) and Sister Tommie Lee Bradley (harmony vocals) – together with the afore-mentioned DuPree and Stephenson making a fine outfit. The slashing slide guitar of Travis Stephenson kicks off the opening “61 Highway Blues”, with Rich DelGrosso’s mandolin providing the good-time country feel; the prison cell blues of the title cut, “Sixteen Bars” follows, with Steve DuPree’s harmonica to the fore and his gritty vocal . . . reminding me a lot of a certain Billy Gibbons.
The road trip song, “Mentone, Alabama”, has a sweet harmony vocal, with a nagging resonator guitar slide riff and kicking drums from Rick Richards; “Baby’s So Fine” is a rocking blues shuffle, with no lack of humour in DuPree’s lyrics. “Sunflower River Rag” takes us back down to rural Mississippi, with more lovely acoustic slide on this toe-tapper and gospel-inspired vocal harmonies . . . capped off with Steve DuPree’s Sonny Boy Williamson edged harmonica.
Elsewhere, “Poison Took My Baby” is a dark and warning tale of substance abuse; the band pay tribute to the famous Delta plantation on “Dockery Farm”, which is steeped in the long history of that area’s blues, with a nagging hill country groove that is most appealing. The driving “Fishin’ Little Mama” rides on Travis Stephenson’s electric slide guitar and fairly rattles along; the band get back to the country on the hillbilly charge of “Baby Jane”; this most enjoyable release ending with Rich DelGrosso’s impressive mandolin featuring on the country honk of “I Got To Testify” . . . with DuPree’s singing accompanied by the rowdy backing vocals of the “Fabulous Inebriators” on the chorus!