“Wandering Star” – Flatland Cavalry (2023) [english]

Sometimes the cover of a record reveals little, sometimes it reveals everything if one knows how to look carefully.

I’ve always loved the art of album covers, discovering their secrets and capturing their magic.

Today we live in a fast-paced world, with little soul and little attention to beauty and in music this has one of its most terrible manifestations.

Music is called with a horrible term: “liquid”.

We no longer pay attention to the words, to the credits of those who created, played and produced that music and, above all, we do not value the work, often huge, behind the cover.

Today in independent music, fortunately, this art of creating covers that have something magical is back powerfully thanks to the comeback of my beloved vinyl, whose covers are the maximum expression of this art that risked to be lost forever.

Here, the cover of the fourth album of one of the most cult and beloved bands of Texas, Flatland Cavalry, has in its cover wonderful many meanings, but the feeling that I most perceived listening and watching, is that of a band that plays songs with an ancient flavor and “old school”.

A bit like the cover where the “wandering star”, a perfect representation of a band that has toured local and local without ever stopping, passes over the memories of the countryside and desert of their Texas.

The band is a sextet that you can’t compare to anyone, in my opinion. Trying to tell you they look like this or that is useless. A lot of influences and none of them decisive.

They are original, like the wonderful voice of the leader Cleto Cordero, one of the best songwriters that Texas has produced in recent years.

The rest of the band is pure quality: Reid Dillon on electric guitar, Adam Gallegos on keyboards, banjo, acoustics and mandolin, Jason Albers on drums, Jonathan Saenz on bass and Wesley Hall on violin.

To Cordero’s natural and innate creative streak, add that his wife is one of the most talented artists in independent music, and you’ll have two minds that support and inspire each other in a way that improves the other.

Incidentally the wife is Kaitlin Butts and I told you about his wonderful record of 2022 in this article: https://www.trexroads.com/what-else-can-she-do-kaitlin-butts-2022-english/.

The album produced by Dwight A. Baker is also their debut on Interscope Records.

There were fears about the band after the explosive success of appearing on the soundtrack of the Yellowstone TV series or touring with a Nashville mainstream pop country artist.

These fears have been swept away and indeed we can say that this Wandering Star is one of the most beautiful Texas country records of recent years.

A country that takes a bit of the best of all the country of every decade and declines it with skill, confidence and originality, without ever overdo or try to mimic the greats of the past.

Put the needle on the vinyl, we remain in the invigorating beauty of the past, and you will be invaded by the beautiful and wild The Provider: scratchy guitars as in a rock 50s and celebration of America working. It starts great!

The Best Days is a sunny country rock where the violin is intertwined with guitars that gives way to the beautiful acoustic ballad Only Thing At All.

The vocal performance of Cordero is a dazzling beauty and, never as in this record, expressive and exciting.

The beautiful song of love and maturity in duet with his wife Kaitlin, Mornings With You, is poetic perfection.

Written with another artist who had already appeared on a record of a legendary band among the independent ones, namely Ashley Monroe (appeared on a Steel Woods record, ed).

Gorgeous and fun is Let it Roll, so damn vintage and arranged great.

And, guys, Hall’s violin solo intertwined with Dillon’s guitar solo is short, but so good that I just pressed repeat for those seconds.

In Spinnin’ there is the title of the album, but there is also the quiet simplicity of a songwriting that does not fear the passage of time, the sound is so suspended among the stars of the cover without being old or even modern.

It’s simple beauty so stunned that it leaves us lying on a meadow with our noses up looking for the wandering star over the sky of Texas.

Oughta See You (The Way I do) is a jewel of country rock of absolute level with the text inspired by a phrase details from his wife.

When two minds so full of ideas live under one roof, it only takes a small spark to set off the fire that is this wonderful song.

The solos then, friends, are spectacular and I would listen to them for hours: guitar and violin, violin and guitar and then the rhythm and voice of Cleto. Magic, like the stars above them.

A record where the magic of the cover wraps a timeless sound, simple, but not obvious. The return of a legendary band that every record gives us a new masterpiece as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

Wonderful performances of all the band members, without exception: the voice that guides us with an intensity never heard, the electric guitar that lashes like the desert wind, the magic of the violin that gives solos mixing melancholy and joy, the rhythm section that beats like the heart in the chest after a long run: here, this Wandering Star is all this and even more.

Thank God success hasn’t changed Flatland Cavalry , and if you don’t know them, this album will get you into their world and trust me, if you love quality music you will never get out.

Word of Trex.

Good listening,

Claudio “Trex” Trezzani by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(in Ticino Notizie web site you can find original italian version of this article)

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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