The Delta Flyers: Sixteen Bars
Twelve bar blues are very common. The chord progression over twelve bars of music typifies the blues — but this is sixteen. When we noticed the title of this CD, the thought occurred that it could be in reference to an old fashioned Irish “pub crawl” but perhaps through the Mississippi Delta to sixteen juke joints and honky tonks. The lyrics to the title track, track two on the CD, clear up the issue. The song refers to the number of bars on the jail cell door that houses the subject of the song.
“61 Highway Blues” opens the album with singer/songwriter Steve Dupree’s tenor voice complaining that the title’s thoroughfare “sure can be a mean old road.” Sixteen Bars consists of ten original compositions. Guitarist Travis Stephenson co-wrote seven of the tracks along with DuPree. Credits are listed for percussion, bass, and backing vocals but the emphasis is clearly on DuPree and Stephenson.
The press release bills DuPree as “Mississippi saxophone” player and oddly, on this album, he doesn’t play sax. He does play a mean harmonica and displays a smooth synergy with Stephenson’s resophonic guitar. In a throw back to the roots of the blues, several, actually most, of DuPree’s compositions come across as chants – there are too many words for the number of notes played. He pulls it off though. If you’re hearing this in a rural honky tonk, about three sheets to the wind, who cares? Slap your knee, share a laugh out loud, and buy another round!
Sixteen Bars is available from Amazon, CDBaby, and the Delta Flyers’ web site. It was released on January 4, 2011.