Kirk Fletcher :: HOLD ON

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Kirk Fletcher

For many recording artists the goal of a full-length album is to follow a theme or concept to guide the material and present a concise and focused statement. For Kirk Fletcher the target was simple as he explains the theme of his new album “It’s about love, a general love for humanity. I wanted to write songs about more than just boys and girls, and maybe give some answers and hope to this crazy time we live in.”

Kirk’s new studio album Hold On is his fifth album as a bandleader and solo artist is a 2019 Blues Music Award (BMA) Nominee for Best Contemporary Album. The eight original tracks were recorded at Canyon Sound in Bristol, England with a classic organ trio format of Fletcher on guitars and vocals alongside drummer Matt Brown and Jonny Henderson on organ, piano and Wurlitzer. The live off-the-floor sound captured by engineer Nick Dover flows with vibrant energy on a set of tunes that crosses genres from smooth R&B to jamming jazz and deep blues, and soul.

The deeply funky and self-searching “Two Steps Forward” opens the set with powerhouse vocalist Mahalia Barnes trading verses with Fletcher, while his guitar rips a wild wah-wah solo that references a few guitar hero riffs, while Henderson delivers gritty Deep Purple-styled Hammond B3. Fletcher then does his best Bill Withers and pleads the case of a lover on the velvety soul track “You Need Me.” The trio then head to New Orleans for a glorious second line infused ramble “Sad Sad Day,” demonstrating the magic of the blues; how an intensely sorrowful lyric sang over a joyous beat is one of the most uplifting forms of artistic expression ever created. Fletcher pours his heart out on the epic eight-minute blues suite “The Answer,” delivering a lamenting vocal before letting his emotions fly on another soaring guitar solo. Brown rolls and thunders on a march beat for the turbulent and abrasive heavy blues “Time’s Ticking.” The playful instrumental track, “Dupree,” has the trio showing off their skills and effortless musical telepathy as they seamlessly shift to and fro through an interaction of melody, harmony, and rhythmic themes creating a substantial musical thought, ending with a unified musical punctuation.

The Chicago shuffle, “Gotta Right,” demonstrates Fletcher’s musical roots as a four-time Blues Music Award nominee on the album’s most straight-ahead blues track that features his acclaimed guitar work and new-found vocal power. The Gospel infused title track, “Hold On,” closes the set, with vocalist Jade McCrea supporting Fletcher and his simple plea for global harmony. The new album from Kirk Fletcher showcases a musician and songwriter steeped in tradition yet unafraid to break new ground.



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