The bluesrockin' Bluebirds are as Louisiana as Justin Wilson, and cook just as well. Core members Bruce and Buddy Flett grew up in Shreveport grooving to R&B DJs Birdbrain and Gay Poppa on KOKA and rooting around in Stan's Record Shop (owned by Stan Lewis of Jewel/Paula fame).
Buddy was inspired by local Albert King clone Raymond Blakes, and later picked up on Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Elmore James and the Rolling Stones. Both Fletts played in A-Train, a band that was popular throughout Louisiana and Texas from 1977-87.
The Bluebirds started out as a Tuesday night jam band, and has had on drums Kerry Hunter and Kevin Smith. The Fletts are not only exemplary musicians but also skilled songwriters who inject a regional feel to their tunes without being stagy about it.
From the opening rocker "Cleveland, MS," Buddy's slide bursts from the speakers and is in no short supply on the other selections on "South from Memphis." Highlights include the travelin' "Tenaha Train" and another Leadbelly l'hommage, "Fannin Street." Unreservedly recommended, especially with a side of gumbo and a cold, dark beer.
P.O. Box 4641, Shreveport, La. 71134
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.