It’s been too damned long since we talked about some good ol’ deep blues here on ninebullets. I vow to make up for that in the coming weeks, and there ain’t a better band to starting making amends with than Kansas’ Moreland & Arbuckle. Moreland & Arbuckle come to the stage with all the right toys; slides, harmonicas & cigar box guitars, but your outfit don’t mean shit if you ain’t got that feel. You know that feel I’m talking about. I don’t know how to put it into words, but it’s that feel that makes me wanna put the cd on, turn up the stereo and sit on my front porch as the evening sun sets with a cold beer and my dogs. It’s the feel of summer sweat in a small bar with inadequate air conditioning, warm beer and a mosquito problem and not giving a shit, ’cause it’s the only fitting scene for the music the band in front of you playing. Whatever that feeling is, Moreland & Arbuckle has plenty to spread and they spread that shit as thick as Gabourey Sidibe from the opening notes of “Hate to See You Go”, only to double dip that shit before crushing you with a live cover of :The Legend of John Henry”. They offer up a moment’s rest on the atmospheric instrumental “”Before the Flood” before delivering the knockout (and standout) blow that is “18 Counties”, a terribly topical song right now considering what happened in Nashville. From there on out the album cycles between delta blues rockers and those slow simmering tracks you expect from any blues band worth their salt.
I hate to use the term “all killer, no filler” ’cause I think it’s stupid, and in the era of single song mp3 purchases I just don’t think bands can afford to put tracks on albums to fill space. No, I just think they put shitty songs on their albums from time to time. Such is not the case with Flood. No sir, Flood is 13 tracks of awesome that could carry the warning, “Caution: excessive volume may cause face ripping”. Needless to say, Flood is Essential Listening and so is Moreland and Arbuckle in general. I’ve been writing about these guys for a couple of years now and they’re getting better and better with each album.