Thursday, March 18, 2010
Kirk Fletcher Releases "My Turn" on Delta Groove Records
"Fletcher favors toothy Strat tones, stinging bends, and flurries of tight, staccato riffs that seem to pop from his fretboard like little firecrackers."
- Guitar Player Magazine
"Fletcher clearly has ensemble dynamics down, suggesting that his years as a sideman have been fruitful. But he's also unabashed as a bandleader, and his guitar work earns its prominence." - Blues Revue Magazine
"Kirk Fletcher is a young man with a big reputation... he exudes class and style, knows all the classic licks but never resorts to mere copying, always with his own take in his trick bag." - Blues & Rhythm Magazine
When founder and CEO Randy Chortkoff initially formed Delta Groove Music, his vision for the label’s first two premiere albums shared a common bond; an exceptionally gifted, young African-American guitarist named Kirk Fletcher. Born December 23, 1975 in Bellflower, California, and son of a Baptist minister, Fletcher began playing guitar at the age of eight after watching his brother Walter perform at their father’s church. A life changing experience then occurred at the age of twelve, whereby an impressionable young Kirk witnessed multiple awe-inspiring performances at the Long Beach Blues Festival in 1988. Observing Albert Collins, Bobby “Blue” Bland and the Staple Singers on stage that weekend forever cemented Fletcher’s desire to pursue music and ultimately head down his chosen path of the blues.
It was Al Blake, frontman of the Hollywood Fats Band, who began mentoring the burgeoning guitarist in the mid-90’s. Through him Kirk met legendary guitarist Junior Watson, and later Kim Wilson, which led to a call to join Wilson’s Blues Revue just in time to record the 2001 Grammy nominated album “Smokin’ Joint.” Wilson later repaid the favor appearing alongside vocalists Janiva Magness and Finis Tasby on Fletcher’s Delta Groove debut “Shades Of Blue,” which was officially released here in the U.S. in November 2004. From there Fletcher’s career blossomed; he spent three years on the road with Charlie Musselwhite, followed by another stint with Wilson in The Fabulous Thunderbirds, during which time he still found opportunities to record on albums by Lynwood Slim, The Mannish Boys and The Hollywood Blue Flames. In 2007 Fletcher followed his heart and stepped down from his role in the T-Birds, realigning his sights on performing his own music and reigniting his solo career.
Now Kirk Fletcher's long awaited return is finally here! Produced by legendary Los Angeles guitarist and close friend Michael Landau, "My Turn" finds Fletcher stretching out instrumentally and exploring new sonic territories on the guitar. In addition, Kirk also makes his surprising vocal debut on two songs which include the Jimmy Reed classic “Found Love,” and an ultra funky version of Sly Stone’s “Let Me Have It All.” This is a project that is very near to Kirk, and one that he just absolutely felt compelled to make. So with the intuitively selected album title of “My Turn,” it would only be appropriate to let Kirk have the last word… ”I am so proud of this record. Though it took a while it was so much fun to get together with my best friends and just play! So here you go and God bless you all.”
Kirk Fletcher: guitar, bass, & vocals
Michael Landau: guitar
Gary Novak: drums (Tracks 4, 5, 7)
Travis Carlton: bass (Tracks 4, 5, 7)
Bobby Tsukamoto: bass (Tracks 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10)
Iver Olav Erstad: organ (Tracks 4, 7, 9) & Rhodes (Tracks 3, 7)
Tom Fillman: drums (Tracks 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 10)
Paulie Cerra: sax and vocals (Tracks 4, 6)
Luke Miller: organ (Tracks 5, 7) & clav (Track 5)
Paul Litteral: trumpet (Tracks 3, 4, 9)
Dave Melton: slide guitar (Track 3)
James Gadson: drums (Track 9)
Karen Landau: spoken word (Track 10)