Kirk Fletcher, My Blues Pathway album review by Chris High
Cool. This is the only suitable word to sum up Californian Bluesman Kirk Fletcher’s fifth studio album, My Blues Pathway. Dripping in emotion, oozing with phenomenal blues riffs and topped by a smoky vocal to make the heart melt, there is something here for everyone who likes their music heartfelt, cut to the quick and sincerely delivered.
Ain’t No Cure for the Downhearted sets the tone, the quite majestic lyric underscored by Fletcher’s sublime playing, a rhythm section underscored by the Hammond playing of former Blues keyboardist of the year, Johnny Henderson.
Listening to this one album explains, completely, how Joe Bonamassa came to choose Fletcher to back him on both his Muddy Wolf tour of 2015 and his appearances at The Greek Theatre the following year. After all, if there’s anyone who knows what it means to be recognised by a great, then Bonamassa is surely it and, in Fletcher, he has spotted a true star.
Struggle For Grace is an emotive, electrifyingly exuberant piece, with hints of all three Kings rolled into one song, whereas Rather Fight Than Switch seeps with joy from every chord.
There are many elements which make My Blues Pathway stand out, but none more so than how the difficult has been made to sound so sublimely simple to execute. Place In This World Somewhere is basically a master class in blues playing at its very, very best. Then comes track of the album, D is for Denny, a slice of instrumental heaven that will have aficionados drooling.
All in all, Kirk Fletcher has conjured an album in My Blues Pathway that nods to the roots of the genre with more than a mere modicum of respect, yet and at the same time manages to coat a fresh glint of gloss to each and every refrain he has created.
- Ain’t No Cure For The Downhearted (3:37)
2. No Place To Go (4:25)
3. Love Is More Than A Word (7:05)
4. Struggle For Grace (5:13)
5. Rather Fight Than Switch (4:01)
6. Heart So Heavy (5:03)
7. Fattening Frogs For Snakes (3:54)
8. Place In This World Somewhere (4:20)
9. D Is For Denny (2:53)
10. Life Gave Me A Dirty Deal (5:03)