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Flatland Cavalry (from Songs to Keep You Warm available as a self-release) (by Lee Zimmerman)
With a telling title like Songs to Keep You Warm, the Texas sextet that call themselves Flatland Cavalry prove that even a hard-bitten band can make a sound that offers comfort and assurance even in the darkest, most dire times. Granted the new EP isn’t intended as a remedy for the world’s problems, but with winter coming on, it could be considered a campfire companion to keep the cold at bay. Written by the band’s lead singer Cleto Cordero, it mostly conveys a solitary sound, one that’s both mellow and melodic given its consistent tug on the heartstrings.
The band — bandleader and chief lyricist Cleto Cordero, guitarist Reid Dillon, bassist Jonathan Saenz, drummer Jason Albers, fiddle player Wesley Hall, and recent newcomer utility instrumentalist Adam Gallegos — is augmented on the Songs to Keep You Warm by background vocals from special guests Ashley Monroe and Kaitlin Butts. Nevertheless, its arrangements are considerably more stripped down from those heard on their earlier efforts, Homeland Insecurity, Humble Folks, and Welcome to Countryland. Where the earlier project reflected a good-ole-boy persona well stacked with a certain country credence, the new EP comes across as both personal and profound, with the majority of the tracks — “How Long”, “Mountain Song”, “Damaged Goods”, “If We Said Goodbye”, and “Show Me Which Way to Go” included — sharing a pensive perspective underscored by remembrance and reflection. There’s are frequent references to loneliness, heartbreak, and regret, but the music remains uncommonly beautiful throughout. Cordero has a gift for creating detailed soundscapes that not only set a scene, but allow the listener to empathize with the emotions expressed through them as well.
Ultimately then, Songs to Keep You Warm does all its title suggests, with a calm and caress that moots even its sadness and circumspect. It’s hard to imagine more tender trappings. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Flatland Cavalry from AMAZON
Please go to the Flatland Cavalry website for more purchase and artist information
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