Kirk Fletcher premieres music video “Afraid To Die, Too Scared To Live”

Kirk Fletcher premieres music video “Afraid To Die, Too Scared To Live” – the first single from his upcoming album “Heartache By The Pound”

Acclaimed blues guitarist/singer-songwriter Kirk Fletcher has announced his long-awaited seventh studio album, “Heartache By The Pound” released on Friday, July 29. The album is available to pre-order HERE.

Produced by Fletcher at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, “Heartache By The Pound” is heralded by today’s premiere of the scorching first single, “Afraid To Die, Too Scared To Live,” available now at all DSPs and streaming services.

An official music video is streaming now

“I got back to my gospel and blues roots,” Fletcher says. “I really wanted to do a blues record, so I sat down and allowed the songs to take over. I’m a bluesman, and I write about life. That’s the concept.”

“Heartache By The Pound” marks Fletcher’s most personal and potent work to date, highlighted by robust vocals, spirited songcraft, and of course, the fiery guitar work that has earned him international acclaim as one of the preeminent bluesmen of the current era. A five-time Blues Music Award-nominee, Fletcher spent much of the pandemic living in Switzerland, writing new songs remotely in partnership with his long-time friend, legendary bassist Richard Cousins (The Robert Cray Band, Van Morrison). 

When the lockdown ended, he headed to the hallowed ground of FAME Studios for three days of sessions, joined by a truly all-star backing band comprised of keyboardist Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Buddy Guy, John Mayall), drummer Terrence F. Clark (Robert Cray, Joss Stone), bass players Travis Carlton (Sara Barellies, Larry Carlton) and Randy Bermudes (The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Charlie Musselwhite), backing vocalist Jade MacRae (Joe Bonamassa, Jimmy Barnes), trumpet player Mark Pender (Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul), and saxophonist Joe Sublett (Taj Mahal and the Phantom Blues Band, Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat).

“FAME is the mother church for soul music,” Fletcher says. “It’s the same building where all these fantastic people like Otis Rush and Aretha Franklin have recorded. I wanted the vibe. I needed to bring these songs there.”

TRACK LISTING

1. Shine A Light On Love (4:32)
Composed by Kirk Fletcher & Richard Cousins

2. Afraid To Die, Too Scared To Live (4:04)
Composed by Kirk Fletcher & Richard Cousins

3. Heartache By The Pound (3:09)
Composed by Kirk Fletcher & Richard Cousins

4. I’ve Made Nights By Myself (3:56)
Composed by Albert King

5. The Night’s Calling For You (5:16)
Composed by Kirk Fletcher & Richard Cousins

6. Wrapped Up, Tangled Up in the Blues (5:05)
Composed by Kirk Fletcher & Richard Cousins

7. Wrong Kinda Love (4:05)
Composed by Dennis Walker

8. I Can’t Find No Love (4:35)
Composted by Dennis Walker

9. Wild Cat Tamer (3:53)
Composed by Tarheel Slim (Allen Rathel Bunn)

10. Hope For Us (5:48)
Composed by Kirk Fletcher

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Kirk Fletcher – All guitar and lead vocals
Production and Arrangements.
Fame Studio Band
Reese Wynans – Organ, piano, Wurlitzer
Randy Bermudes – Bass
Terence F Clark – Drums and percussion
Recorded at Fame studio, Muscle Shoals Alabama engineered by Spencer Coats
June 7,8,9 2021

Los Angeles Band 1
Travis Carlton – Bass
Lemar Carter – Drums and percussion
Recorded at Hertz works studio
Van Nuys California
June 17, 2021

Los Angeles Band 2
Travis Carlton – Bass
Alan Hertz – Drums
Josh Smith – Guitar and pedals
Recorded at Flat Five Studio
September 24, 2021

Organ Trio Band
Alberto Marsico – Organ and left-hand bass
Alessandro Minetto – Drums
Recorded in Torino Italy
July 28, 2021

Additional Musicians
Jeff Babko ARP string ensemble “Wrong Kinda Love” and “Nights Calling For You”
Scott Kinsey – Piano and organ “Hope For Us”
Joe Sublett – Saxophone
Mark Pender – Trumpet
Jade MacRae – Background vocals and vocal coaching
Michael Landau –Second guitars “Nights Calling For You”
Vocal & Guitar overdubs
Power Play Studios – Zurich Switzerland
Ocean Way Studios – Nashville, Tennessee
Sound Emporium – Nashville, Tennessee
New Sound Studio – Switzerland
Simon Kistler Studio – Switzerland 

Kirk Fletcher photo-by-Mitch-Conrad

Kirk Fletcher – Biography

Born in Los Angeles and currently based in Nashville, Kirk Fletcher is widely considered among the finest blues guitarists on the planet, hailed for his uniquely soulful style, robust vocals, and refreshingly modern gift for authentic R&B songwriting. 

Having cut his teeth playing regularly in front of the congregation at his father’s Compton church, Fletcher’s fiery fretwork has seen him perform alongside an extensive list of iconic artists, from Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton, and Hubert Sumlin to Kim Wilson, Charlie Musselwhite, Joe Bonamassa, The Mannish Boys, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, to name but a few.

Along the way, Fletcher has maintained his own world-class solo career, unleashing a still-growing body of work that includes such acclaimed releases as 2018’s “Hold On”, which entered Billboard’s “Blues Albums” chart at #15 en route to a Blues Music Award (BMA) nomination for “Contemporary Blues Album.” 

“My Blues Pathway” followed in 2020, earning him further BMA nods for “Contemporary Blues Album” and “Instrumentalist – Guitar” amidst critical applause from such outlets as Guitar World Magazine, which declared the album “harks back to an era of blues treading new sonic ground – less raw and more refined, yet still gripping and thrilling at every turn… There’s a sweetness and authenticity to (Fletcher’s) approach that screams class.” Guitar.com agreed, writing, “My Blues Pathway sits alongside contemporary blues albums that unapologetically register their vested interests in the golden era of the blues…There’s a simple truth about Kirk Fletcher’s music; an honesty that is unashamedly rhythm and blues.”

“Every time I pick up a guitar, I get down to business and play with a whole lot of soul,” Kirk Fletcher says. “I’ve been doing it my whole life, so it’s an extension of who I am. It’s like a personal PA system to make things louder and put that soul out there. Every note is a continuation of my childhood, growing up in church, and all the things I love. That’s what’s most important to me about guitar playing. At the end of the day, I’m just a bluesman.”

Photography by Mitch Conrad

About Alex English

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