All Music Guide
By Michael G. Nastos
His third album finds Kirk Fletcher singing strong, contemporary, soulful blues in the new populist image of someone like Robert Cray. Mostly mellow but not nearly as slick, Fletcher’s apprenticeship with Charlie Musselwhite and the Mannish Boys has served him well enough to tackle music from varied songwriters such as Jimmy Reed, Jesse Edwin Davis, James Earl Thompson, Sly Stone, Will Felder, and Travis Carlton, while adding three more tunes of his own, including one that is loose and even experimental. With various rhythm players, guitarist/producer Michael Landau, saxophonist Paulie Cerra, and trumpeter Paul Litterall, Fletcher sounds like he is coming into his own on his terms. From the cover of the traditional “Congo Square” with loud guitar and a Neville Brothers attitude, to the fast, instrumental rocker “El Medio Stomp” and Thompson’s shuffle swing “Ain’t No Way,” it’s clear Fletcher’s music is not set in stone. On the more traditional end are slow get-down tunes like “Blues for Antone” or the steady rollin’ Reed classic “Found Love,” but then Fletcher hits up the lighter retro-funk of Sly’s “Let Me Have It All” with wah-wah guitar, horns, and organ, assuring everybody what generation Fletcher comes from. It’s that mix of looking back and being in the present that makes Kirk Fletcher’s blues enjoyable and even adorable, carving a bright and long-lasting future for this premier blues artist.