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Kirk Fletcher - My Turn

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:15 pm
by blueswriter
Kirk Fletcher
My Turn
Eclecto Groove (2010) EGRCD 511

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10 tracks, 48 minutes. Recommended. While most of what we know about West Coast guitarist Kirk Fletcher relates to his numerous blues credentials, and indeed they are many, it was readily apparent from a Living Blues article more than a few years ago that Fletcher’s direction was bound to change. It’s been a relatively short time from his first solo effort on JSP Records (1999’s I’m Here And I’m Gone) when he was a young twenty-two to the here and now. In that time Kirk’s stellar playing has been featured through recordings and/or ‘live’ appearances with The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Kim Wilson’s Blues Revue, The Mannish Boys and The Hollywood Blue Flames, to name but a few. With My Turn, Fletcher manages to effectively flex his blues muscles while touching on elements of jazz, rock and roll and hefty R&B. From the opening notes of the stripped-down rocker, El Medio Stomp, it’s clear that Kirk isn’t going to be satisfied resting on his previous successes; he‘s looking to cultivate new areas of the rich American musical landscape. He redefines Jimmy Reed’s Found Love with more of a loping country feel, while his vocals here and on Sly Stone’s I Want It All are more than pleasurable. And yes, you read that correctly; Kirk sings on a pair and acquits himself well. His approach on both Jesse Ed Davis’ Natural Anthem and the familiar Congo Square are fresh and exciting with some keen twists and turns. Blues For Antone is a concise yet smoldering tour-de-force of gutbucket guitar that seems to nod equally as much in the direction of SRV. With assistance from Michael Landau, Dave Melton and James Gadson among a host of others, Kirk delivers a winner that effectively showcases his continuing deep blues feel while traversing brand new territory for his fan base. One listen to the title track or the spaced-out closer, Continents End, should easily prove that Kirk Fletcher can direct his focus in new directions with taste and ease while still riveting listeners with his masterful touch and rich tones. Well done!

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© 2010 by Craig Ruskey