CD Review: Flatland Cavalry “Homeland Insecurity”

| February 8, 2019 | Reply

Flatland Cavalry , “Homeland Insecurity,” Independent Label

Flatland Cavalry, with the release of Homeland Insecurity, has established their niche in the upper echelon of Texas and country music. The 11 songs in this new album get better every time one listens to them. There’s some new phrase that might have been missed with the first or fourth listen, but which leap out the seven time. From the lyrics and the arrangements, Flatland Cavalry has created a masterpiece they can be proud of for years to come.

Lead singer and lyricist Cleto Cordero wrote and co-wrote all of the songs on this, their sophomore album. His co-writers include bandmate Reid Dillon and Texas singer/songwriter on her own, Kaitlin Butts. Cleto said that the arrangements often come when they are putting the song together. “It’s kind of like fixing cars,” Cordero said. “Somehow, if the car still doesn’t work, you figure out what you need.”

It was natural, a no-brainer, he said when asked how they chose “Honeywine” as the first release to radio. “It was the first song that I wrote for this album,” he said. This song stems from a night of drinking with Butts, who he said is his girlfriend. “When the beer runs out and the whiskey’s gone, Honeywine, you’re all I need.”

“Old School” brings back memories of happy times. “I sat out on the front porch, the crickets and coyotes sang harmony… we make old school sound brand new.

Cordero said that Butts is also helping him with his enunciation when singing.  “She kinda gets me in a corner and works with me on vocals,” he said. And it’s working — the lyrics in these songs are all clear and distinct. And about those arrangements — there’s fiddle sounds soaring high above, like a guardian angel keeping watch. “We went up to Kaitlin’s mom’s farm in Oklahoma and worked on some of this,” Cordero said. “On one song, Reid’s (Dillon) guitar riff nailed it, it was done in 20 minutes. I love that chicken-pickin’ thing. It’s so old school.”

Cordero said he wrote for a few years, and played at his high school and for his mom’s and grandma’s friends. But it was when he got to college that he started searching for meaning to his lyrics. That was 10 years ago, he added. In his writing, too, he has maintained that “Old School” feelin  in every song here. And they are all love songs, although some of the love is of old school times and identifiable lost love, and glory-days of hope.

This CD is available from their Website, FlatlandCavalry.com, at their concerts, and on the streaming sites.

Mary Jane Farmer, Scene In Town

First appeared in Buddy Magazine, February 2019 issue

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Category: *- Features, - CD Reviews

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