The Flying A’s are a writing team made in heaven, or at least that is how it seems to feel to them. They are married couple (Stuart and Hilary Adamson) whose relationship seems to be based on songwriting or is it that they write songs because they have a relationship that inspires music? The songs are Texas Americana combining pop, country, rock and roll, folk and blues influences and on this disc they are wrapped up in a tasty package by producer, Chris Gage.
This collection of compositions delves into situations of life and love from a brash youngster’s succumbing to the need to rebel and ramble (“Little Miss Tumbleweed”) to the grief of losing a loved one (“Wild Texas Wind”). Six of the songs were written by Hilary, while Stuart took primary writing credit for three of the tunes with three covers thrown in for good measure. Even though Hilary wrote the lyrics on more of the songs, Stuart’s guitar compositions are ever present.
“Little Miss Tumbleweed” kicks the disc off with a rousing country Telecaster lick that gets the listener’s attention right away. The guitar work continues to flow on Stuart’s rockabilly anthem, “It Ain’t Funny”. The pace slows and the mood gets more serious with the folksy anthem for the plight of the family farmer, “This Dirt”.
Stuart stretches out a rockabilly version of Billy Edd Wheeler’s “Blistered”. He follows that with a sad, slow cheating song called “Blood and Bone” that includes some artful orchestration. Stuart’s guitar comes to the forefront again with some bluesy licks on “I Won’t Stop Loving You”.
The mood alters significantly when Hilary croons a jazzy version of Claude Butch Morgan’s “Mr. Blue”. Chris Gage’s piano on “Mr. Blue” walks the line between the rinky-tink country style and the jazzy pop sounds of days gone by. Stuart follows that with a bittersweet “The Other Side of Lonely” about getting over the loss of a loved one from a broken relationship.
“Roadwork Ahead” making an analogy of making life and a relationship work as though it were a rough drive down a road under construction. Hilary’s voice shifts from rowdy to sweet and soft for the love song “Weak and Wild”. The disc concludes with a pedal steel and piano laced song of grief over the loss of a child called “Wild Texas Wind”.
This is an appealing collection of songs that exude the closeness of the relationship that Stuart and Hilary share and invites the listener to share in life’s journey through love and loss. Stuart’s guitar and Hilary’s voice work together like bacon and eggs. It is a welcome move back toward the side of country music that portrays real life experiences as opposed to today’s songs of getting drunk and hooking up. This one is likely to stay in your CD player for a week or more, so enjoy.