Flyinshoes Review

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Now here is a big surprise and a pleasant one at that. It is a real coup, because recorded music under his own name is most rare. An album from session legendary guitarist, Missouri-born Reggie Young is unheard of. ‘He made this album for himself and for everyone who has ever listened to his intros, fills, turnarounds, and solos and thought ‘I’d love to hear an album of that’ (taken from Colin Escott’s wonderful liner notes).


For one, I am thrilled to see this album out, and after listening to some of the music left feeling I was walking on air. You too will feel this way if you enjoy the sound of cultured guitar playing. Young knows how to play and when little is more! He also makes it all so, so deceptively easy. If you have forty minutes, and want to chill I can’t think of a better sound to accompany you. It will undoubtedly ease your mind.    


Steeped in southern flavours, Young and his main support comes from (Clayton Ivey, wurlitzer), Catherine Marx (keyboards), Chad Cromwell (drums), Jennifer Lynn Young (cello) and David Hood (bass) plus, on a track or two you have David Hungate, Dennis Belfield (bass), Mike Rojas (electric piano), Jim Brown (keyboards), Shannon Forrest (drums) plus Jim Horn and the wailing horns (Horn, Steve Herman and Charles Rose), it is, in anyone’s book one hugely impressive array of talent. 


Drawing on sixty years experience, playing also non-stop Young kicks back. When he wasn’t in the studio he could be heard playing with the Highwaymen, Waylon Jennings’ last band, and going back to the 1960s when he was in the studio playing guitar on Dusty Springfield’s “Son Of A Preacher Man”, The Box Top’s “Cry Like A Baby”, Elvis Presley’s “In The Ghetto” and “Suspicious Minds” and later down the line Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”, Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind”, Willie & Merle Haggard’s “Poncho And Lefty”. The string of credits is endless as you also have Waylon’s “Luckenbach, Texas”, John Prine’s “Same Stone”, J. J. Cale’s “Cocaine”, Hank Williams Jnr’s “Family Tradition” and Danny O’Keefe’s “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues” plus a ton more. In 1964 Young was a member of the Bill Black Combo that opened for The Beatles on their first tour of the States, and not too long afterwards he became a session man at American Studios in Memphis. Though he may be best known to many for his Nashville days his formative years playing blues, and r&b have a huge say in his playing. He also did some, along with his picking friends for Jerry Wexler in New York; in-between those for Buddy Killen in Nashville. What to be a fly on the wall in those studios and famous recording sessions? 


As far as the seven instrumental tunes that stretch over for thirty-nine minutes the recording is seamless, beautifully constructed and produced, the listener is eased through many flavours. “Memphis Grease” is a real gem, loaded in sax, trombone and trumpet and killer lead guitar it provokes memories of J.J. Cale! While “Soul Love” is more open, less intense, but like with the “Coming Home To Leiper’s Fork” and light ‘n breezy “Seagrove Place” and “It’s About Time” so beautifully fluent. More than anything it is the subtle variances, in and within the songs that impressed me most. As he hits a cool feel on “Exit” and “Jennifer” (written for his wife I presume) as the music eases effortlessly to a close.


                                                              Maurice Hope           

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November 2017

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