Flat River Band's “Bums & Hookers, Strangers & Lookers”
The Flat River band’s album, “Bums & Hookers, Strangers & Lookers,” kicks off with a title that reflects the religious theme of the album cover itself: “God Bless the Radio.” Before the Flat River Band takes me on a musical journey, they invite me to grasp hold of any nearby radio, and thank God for the gift of music… Not a bad way to kick things off. It’s as if the Flat River Band is asking me to listen through the entire album in one go, thus establishing a concept album in just one 5-minute track. Full of driving drums, slick steels, and fluttering fiddle, this track really cranks things up. If you’re going to listen to any track on the album, start from the top of this one. There’s something to be said for that, in today’s single-driven market.
Speaking of overusing alliterations, the album’s 2nd track,” Feeling Good Feeling Fine” sets the tone for the rest of the album, introducing a sudden departure from the good boy Church-delivery style of “God Bless The Radio,” and instead implementing the risqué aspects of life on the road. Alas, we’ve encountered our first of many hookers and bums. At this point, I’m beginning to question the intended meaning of the word “bum.” Going forward, vocalist Dennijo Sitze takes a no-holds-barred approach to story-telling, describing his many casual encounters with scantily-clad women, bar fights, and loss of self-respect that comes along with being a touring musician. His brothers, Chad and Andy Sitze take turns leading me in sing-song-style bar tunes and tear-inducing ballads, seemingly undergoing an identity crisis of sorts in which the band members long for their hometown, but dread returning to the troubles that await them.
Through tracks such as “The Pill” and “Devils Liquor,” the Flat River Band documents their attempts at drinking away their worries, drowning them in cheap whiskey and homemade wine. Just as sadness begins to dominate the theme of the album, Flat River Band rapidly picks up the pace with “Never Mind Tomorrow,” asking the listener to grab hold of their hands; the Flat River Band has decided to go home. They will not, however, be taking any short cuts, as they portray their love for traveling with their foot-stomping instant classic, “Hold On.” Finally, the Flat River Band has returned home, and can’t wait to share stories of their travels. They take one last deep breath, and effortlessly breathe out one last nostalgic tale of their favorite sight in the world: an “Oklahoma Sunset.”
If you’re looking for a good way to kill 48 minutes of your time, pick up a copy of the Flat River Band’s Bums & Hookers, Strangers & Lookers. While the title may appear to be lengthy, and the artwork may seem a tad confusing, the stories that are held within are clear as day, and will certainly make you want to take a long drive, roll your windows down, and crank it up.
Check out the Flat River Band & music off of "Bums & Hookers, Strangers & Lookers" HERE