Album Reviews

Pat Flynn – reNew (Self-released)

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patflynnwebHot pickin’ Pat, formerly of The New Grass Revival and multi time “Best Acoustic Guitarist” in Fret’s magazine poll, steps out here with one of the nicest things my ear has heard in far too long. Like his former band did, when they hit the studio or stage, this album flat-out explodes on the opening track “Kingdom Come.” The energy, soul, musicianship, sparkling production and well-crafted lyrics let you know from the gitgo that you’re in for a great ride. The sequencing, like his songwriting is truly thoughtful. Pat, who grew up on the west coast, lets you cool down just a little on a breezy trip down a “California Highway.” Then, it’s cross country to Deep Gap, North Carolina as he tips his hat to Doc Watson, with a super  fine guitar intro to “ Little Rock Getaway” that holds you in anticipation.

Midway through, after some song for thought, he plays the prettiest version of “Buckaroo” I’ve ever heard. If you’re not smilin’ after that, it’s too late to call the midwife; call the undertaker. Pat sure knew who to call help him make this gem: Jim Hoke, Rob Ickes, Darrell Scott, Dave Pomeroy and 14 more talented musicians, writers and voices like former NGR bandmate John Cowan all appear here. Their take on Hendrix’s “Fire” is a barn burner that would make Jimi’s fro grow. Mr. Flynn bookends these ten tracks beautifully with the thoughtful “Take Me To Forever” that should light up anyone who has ever toiled away anywhere at anything. The many roads Pat has traveled and learned both his craft and life upon resonate deeply here.

– Ken Spooner

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