When was the last time, as a boy or girl, you experienced the emotions of life, love and heartbreak? When did you find an education in current affairs and monetary values enjoyable? How can you seek lessons in history and gain a greater appreciation for the automobile in one place? You have it here my friend, and all with the simple push of the ‘play’ button.
We’ve watched radio slip into a state of metamorphosis as the extreme volume of less than adequate releases and less than imaginative efforts from artists attempt to break through the ice. With the creativity of the open mind fading away, we have the rare privilege of being exposed to three brothers from Missouri with preliminary offerings from their now complete self-titled album. And a true album it is! Having had my anticipation turned on high, it was like an early Christmas when the Flat River Band’s country debut finally arrived. Controlling my excitement as I cracked the wrapper, I planned on giving their totally innovative project of passion the same scrutiny that I give to all new albums that land on my desk. However, before thirty seconds had passed, I knew I was in for an extraordinary listening event. In an age where the single is king and the masses no longer look forward to the true experience of an album, the Flat River Band takes us on a journey where we are anticipating the first notes of each track as this talented trio guides us through the milestones of life.
The album kicks things off with every boy’s dream, “she” who is without question all yours and never lets you down, the immortal Chevy II. Maybe it’s that sweet set of wheels that will take you on a breathless cruise down one of this country’s most scenic byways, the Natchez Trace. But hold on, our Flat River Band “Road Trip” continues as Chad, Ande and Dennijo, having no particular destination in mind, make the most of this musical journey. Now it’s time to put the Chevy in the garage and ponder the difference between being alone and being lonely. However, don’t dwell on that issue for too long as you must be ready for a course in economics and how it affects our “Money.”
The Flat River Band then go from shaking the money tree to examining our family tree reminding us to “cherish every moment before it goes away” as “Time Flies By.” Not long after the nostalgia has worn off and you’ve called home, you begin to wonder how you’ll get through the week and the only thing you find yourself doing is “Waiting for the Weekend” when you can get back into your Chevy II and take a trip to the controversial town of “Roswell” to discover what really happened. Well, you’ll just have to judge for yourself if the tales are true or if it was blown out of proportion with “Smoke and Mirrors” on the evening news. The ten track landscape of life closes out when the Flat River Band pulling on your heart strings once more with their tale of a diamond ring tossed into a “Deep Muddy River.”
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen so much living, learning and loving in just ten songs. So is this introduction to the Flat River Band the best project I have ever heard? No, but it’s extremely close!
The Flat River Band has given us a true album, a rarity in this new age of the digital download. So lean back in an easy chair or a rocker on your front porch, or settle in behind the wheel for a leisurely Sunday drive. And then listen to this truly innovative project as albums were enjoyed decades ago, by letting the Flat River Band take you on a journey that puts a smile on your face, a tear in your eye and leaves you looking for more.
Jay Karl Jensen
Bonnie Brozik/Powerhouse Entertainment