Flynnville Train: Redemption

Rock-solid southern rock

This Indiana-bred country-rock band is a real throwback to the southern rock of the 1970s. The quartet is looser, wilder, harder and seemingly less-calculated than redneck-rock acts like Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson, but they play to the same blue collar crowd. Their songs will strike a deep chord in a nation where political and business institutions seem to be at odds with the populace. The lead single, “Preachin’ to the Choir,” effectively expresses Joe Sixpack’s pent-up frustration without resorting to the divisive tropes of talking-head politics. It doesn’t pose any big solutions, but the opportunity to vent one’s frustration in a like-minded crowd, and in this case, an anthem-singing country-rock crowd, is quite cathartic.

There’s a nostalgic streak in the band’s songs, including the comforts of their childhood “Home,” and a satisfied recounting of their career in the optimistic “On Our Way.” They take you inside the legendary Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in “33 Steps” (the title cleverly measuring the walk from the Grand Ol’ Opry) and to the track for the NASCAR-themed “Turn Left.” There’s hard-charging electric guitar twang on the upbeat tracks, but even when the band slows down for banjo, steel and mandolin additions, the bass, guitar and drums remain solid. There are songs of rowdy Saturdays (“Alright” and “Tip a Can”) and guilt-wracked Sundays (“Friend of Sinners”), love and sex. The latter, “Scratch Me Where I’m Itchin’,” opens with a great Johnny Winter-styled riff.

In addition to the original material, the band covers the Kentucky Headhunters “The One You Love” and closes the album with a strong cover of America’s “Sandman.” The latter, originally released in 1971, is repurposed to address America’s current military crises and conflicts. The song is played more heavily than the original, including a period-invoking electric sitar solo and a stinging guitar duel. The harmonies are sung with the power and stridency of CSN&Y’s anti-war songs, putting a serious end to an album that’s often lighter in topic. It’s a great way to end the album, and really shows off the group’s heartland grit, heart and soul. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]

Flynnville Train’s Home Page
Flynnville Train’s MySpace Page

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.