DELTA FLYERS: (thedeltaflyers.com) That's the duo of Stevie Dupree, vocalist/harmonica player and Jack Saunders (jacksaunders.com), acoustic guitarist and resophonic (dobro) slide guitarist. Dupree sang in a strong, smoky voice with very good tone and range. He has a strong upper register and used it quite effectively. Dupree is also an ace harmonica player. But more than that, he's a truly gifted songwriter. Saunders, a virtuoso guitarist/slide guitarist and winner of multiple Houston Press Music Awards, was in superb form. They performed Dupree's timeless original songs from their 2007 release, On Levee Road (reviewed below.) All of the songs had intriguing melodies and clever, compelling lyrics. They blurred the lines between blues and bluegrass. Every song was a highlight, earning them well-deserved ovations. A few of this reviewer's favorites were "These Blues," "Railroad Bill" "Pony Dance," "Three Legged Dog," "Aidie Jean" (super slide!) and "Double Down Junior." Bravo! Bravo!
ON LEVEE ROAD: Delta Flyers (thedeltaflyers.com), April 2007. This album has 10 excellent songs, all composed by Stevie Dupree. Dupree sings and plays harmonica with all the fervor of a Southern tent revival preacher and the all the despair of a man who has lived alone, nursing his heartaches for an eternity. This is Southern roots music; it blurs the line between blues and bluegrass. A master lyricist, Dupree's story-songs are as real and large as the Delta Flyer itself, roaring down the tracks into legend. Dupree's partner, master instrumentalist and vocalist Jack Saunders (jacksaunders.com), plays acoustic guitar, resophonic (dobro) slide guitar, upright bass and does backing vocals. Guest musicians with (to borrow a phrase) the right stuff add drums, percussion, mandolin and Scottish side drum as needed. The Delta Flyers won the 2008 International Blues Competition for single artists/duos in the Houston Region. So I expected a certain level of competence on the fly. I'm pleased to report that this album rises above it, sometimes significantly above it. Staying within a blues framework, the tracks change styles smoothly. "Delta Flyer Blues" opens the CD. This fast-paced song tells of a lonely man taking the Delta Flyer home to his girl "… 'cause I can stand we're apart." "Three Legged Dog" chronicles the woes of a man whose young girl left him because he likes "Them city women and my liquor when it's strong." On the title track, Dupree sings of dangerous outlaws on the Levee Road. "Railroad Bill" tells the tales of a handsome train man and a girl that "… come equipped complete with a racin' motor." The mournful slow song, "These Blues," is a powerfully emotional rendering that captures the very essence of lost love blues. The other songs on the CD are equally well crafted. Very highest recommendation.
Jim Shortt - SCENE Magazine (Feb 1, 2008)